Monday, June 3, 2019

Dropping Into Normandy-- Part 4: "The Staccato Sound of Machine-Gun Fire Broke My Trance"


THE DROP

RAY AEBISCER,  101st--  "The jolt from the opening shock was more intense than usual.  At the same second the chute opened, my leg pack broke loose from the straps around my leg.  All of my equipment, except one trench knife and a canteen of water went plummeting to the ground, never to be seen again."

TURK SEELYE, 82nd--  "As the prop blast forced air into my chute, I got the strongest opening shock ever.  The chute opened with such a violent jolt that a Beretta pistol I took from an Italian naval officer was torn loose, along with my new safety razor."

LESLIE P. CRUISE, 82nd--  "The chute tightened in my crotch as the planes droned overhead, and I knew my chute had opened though I could hardly look up to see it.  I had suddenly slowed as the chute fully opened and I floated in space....  The staccato sound of machine-gun fire broke my trance.  It was to the left.  No, it was to my right as I kept turning in my chute.  I couldn't tell where it was coming from."

ROY KING,  82nd--  "I was fascinated by the sight of the tracers flying around everywhere when I saw a huge explosion blossom directly below me....  A plane between me and the ground.  No, it was not in trouble, I was!  I was above the stream of airplanes that had just dropped their troopers and equipment.

"My immediate concern was that I could be chopped to pieces by the propellers of the oncoming planes.  I was trying furiously  to turn and face the oncoming planes in order to see how to safely maneuver through them.  I dropped safely through them in spite of my near-hysterical struggles."

--GreGen

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