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."


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