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Lt. Col. Joe Turecky

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Comment from Joe on the anniversary of D-Day;


"I was a replacement pilot at that time. A second replacement pilot and I stood at the end of the runway at Exeter, England at 1:30 AM on June 6, 1944 and saluted them and said a small prayer for them. Of course, the mission was plagued with disasters. Besides anti-aircraft firings and spotlights, as the formations were descending to drop altitudes of 500 feet, they encountered thin layers of clouds. Trying to keep in the close formation used to facilitate dropping paratroopers bunched together, staying in close formation under those circumstances with only three 10 inch purple discs on the wings of the C-47s was a major problem, which led to many collisions and crashes.

The other pilot and I flew our planes the next day, in daylight, to the same area between Omaha and Utah Beaches to drop supplies to the troopers on the ground. The supplies were in 4 pararacks on our bellies and a large bundle at the side door. I saw the mayhem on the beaches and we encountered anti-aircraft firings at us, with one bullet piercing my right wing. Fortunately it missed the fuel tanks, because we were not equipped with self-sealing fuel tanks. A couple of days later, after the engineers were able to scratch out a landing strip just above Omaha Beach, we were able to land between barrage balloons, which were installed to keep the Germans from strafing the strip. From then on, as our troops advanced, we were able to deliver supplies to more scratched out strips. The faster our troops advanced, the further our supply runs got.

However, as the French saying goes, "Cest le guerre". "It is the war." When the troops advanced enough, we were moved from Exeter, England to Le Mans, France, and eventually to Orleans, the home of Saint Joan of France. End of history lesson."

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