paratroopers and gliders

Nov

12

1943

German paratroopers attack island of Leros

'Fallschirmjäger für Legos!' German paratroopers on Crete about to embark for the attack on Leros.

The first salvo had scored a direct hit – it left a gaping hole in the side of this building. This is where the two of us made our dramatic escape once again. After a moment, we had gone just 50 to 100 yards, when a voice in the darkness shouted “Halt! Who goes there?” A great relief seemed to come over me. “Go to the front of the column!” When we reached the front we were escorted to a cave, where a Lieutenant Colonel, or maybe a higher ranking officer, gave us a good interrogation.

Sep

5

1943

US 503rd PIR in the Big Fire Fight of Gabsohnkie

Allied Parachute jump in the Markham Valley under the cover of a smoke screen on 5 September 1943. General MacArthur accompanied the raid in a high flying B-17.

There was another incident that further convinced me that the Japs were all around us trying to infiltrate and this one was about 15 to 20 feet to my immediate left oblique. I guess it was about 2:00 or 3:00 AM 6 Sept 1943 when I heard a loud thud as if something or someone had (thrown) a heavy object to the ground and this was followed by some loud grunts and cussing. Man this is it! Japs done got into one of my buddies’ fox holes. I waited and continued to count Japs as they crossed in front of me and sporadic fire continued from the direction of the 2nd Bn C.P.

Jul

14

1943

Parachute assault on the Primasole Bridge

Planning and Preparations January - July 1943: Royal Air Force glider pilots and pilots of towing aircraft are briefed before the airborne invasion.

I saw what seemed to be a galaxy of coloured globes floating leisurely above the land. They peeled away from a dark mass, which I took to be a hill, and danced towards us like a swarm of angry bees rising from an upturned hive. They curved over, coming faster every second, then they were flaming comets roaring and crackling about the plane in streaks of light. We were running through the curtain of light flak – an interlocking apron of tracer shells flicking up in intricate patterns of gold, red and white.