I was fortunate enough to locate and talk to the trooper who jumped right behind him and was told what the flight over was like, what their jump zone was like, and the mayhem on the ground...
Sadly, the Second World War would entangle my father who volunteered to be an underwater demolition "frogman" working in the South Pacific, and all of my uncles. Every one of them. They served in the Big Red 1, the 82nd Airborn, the 28th Infantry Division, and USN S&R, good grief... from the sleepy town of Montreal, Wisconsin.
What many of you might not know is how many of these brave men of the 82nd "Band of Brothers" actually prepped for this jump. Peter had extra ammo, mortar rounds strapped to his trousers and a musette. Many landed in flooded fields making escape tricky, given the weight and the chute. His jump zone was missed, like everybody else's and he ended up jumping on Sainte-Mere-Eglise. I have his Jump Book if anyone would like a copy.
My thanks to all of you who have served in the armed forces. Let us hope we can somehow prevent such horrors from happening again.
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