Sunday, June 2, 2019
Dropping Into Normandy-- Part 3: Last Man Out
RICHARD GLEASON, 101st-- "As I stood near the door, a shell exploded under the left wing, and the old '47 did a handstand on the right wingtip, and I was thrown back across the cabin. There was a mad scramble to get out the door, but I was able to get there first, so I didn't get tangled in any static lines."
HAROLD CANYON, 82nd-- Just as I approached the door the top of the airplane opened up. It had been hit by some type of explosive shell. As I turned into the doorway, the plane started a right wing dip going into its death spiral.
"It took everything I had to get over the threshold. It seemed to me the threshold was just a little more than chest high as I rolled over and got out. I was the last man out of the plane."
CLARENCE McKELVEY-- "We din't know how high we were, but I felt three things in succession -- my helmet popped off my head, I felt my chute open, and I looked down and there was ground."
ELMER BRANDENBERGER, 101st-- "The opening shock (of the parachute) tore the rifle from my grasp. I can still remember the thought flashing through my mind that it would hit some damned Kraut and bash in his head."