D-Day.....Thank you Uncle.

By: collinsfarm , 6:15 PM GMT on June 06, 2008

In the pre-dawn hours of June 6, 1944, a young paratrooper with the 101st Airborne lept out of a darkened plane doorway to begin his trek across Europe.

That young man was and is my Uncle.

For a variety of reasons, his company missed their drop zone by more than five miles. Scattered across acres of French farmland, it took most of the morning for them to regroup and advance on their objective, a Nazi radio/command post. My Uncle landed on the roof of a barn and rolled off to safety. Many of his brethren were injured or killed as they landed in trees or areas occupied by the enemy. It seemed to be an impossible situation. My Uncle eventually found and joined up with other troopers and by the end of the day had accomplished their immediate mission, though at a heavy cost of life.

He has rarely spoken of the events of that day except to say it was grim. He was engaged in many more battles as the Allies pushed into Germany. Six months later at Christmas, he found himself in another impossible situation in the Ardennes near Bastonge.

Surrounded by the enemy, low on supplies and ammunition, the 101st Airborne found itself cutoff from the rest of the Allies as the Germans swept forward in what would be their last offensive of the war. This battle is commonly called the "Battle of the Bulge". My Uncle recounts lying in his frozen foxhole dining on equally frozen hash for Christmas when his squad felt the ground begin to steadily rumble. Knowing they were surrounded and expecting to be overrun by Nazi tanks, my Uncle's sqaud held a short prayer service and prepared to meet the offensive as best they could.

As the noise and rumbling intensified, a forward scout rushed out of the woods past my Uncle's foxhole. My Uncle shouted out to him asking how many were coming. The scout looked back as he was running and excitedly yelled "it's Patton!" And so it was that thousands of more brave men came to the rescue of their brothers and broke the German offensive.

My Uncle finally mustered out after crossing into Germany. Back in the US, he went to college studied hard and later enjoyed success as a mechanical engineer and contractor.

I once asked my Uncle what possessed him to become a paratrooper. In his typical candor, he replied, "It paid $22 more per month!"

Thank you Uncle for doing what had to be done. For fighting to preserve what so many today take for granted. Thank you for the sense of honor you instilled in me and pride in doing a job well.

My Uncle, a true hero.

I posted this in 2008. My uncle is now 92 years old and continues to amaze me.

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20. whitewabit
1:54 AM GMT on December 25, 2011
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 379 Comments: 35929
19. LakeWorthFinn
5:05 AM GMT on December 23, 2011
Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2012 to you and your loved ones!

Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 69 Comments: 7784
18. collinsfarm
8:19 PM GMT on June 06, 2011
He was in 101st Airborne, Company G.
I can't remember the Regiment...544th, I think,
but I'll have to call and ask him.
Member Since: September 1, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 1358
17. palmettobug53
5:17 PM GMT on June 06, 2011
BTW, what regiment/company was he in?
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26327
16. palmettobug53
5:11 PM GMT on June 06, 2011
Thank your uncle for me. And thanks to all vets of D-Day. I have something up at my desk in memoriam of this anniversary. Most of the people in my office just look at it and think I'm a nut. They just don't know how much they owe the men that sacrificed so much in WWII.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26327
15. PSLFLCaneVet
4:48 PM GMT on June 06, 2011

Please pass our thanks to your Uncle.

We salute all the brave men who persevered through many unfortunate circumstances and made Operation Overlord a success.

Well done!!!
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
14. hurricanecrab
12:21 PM GMT on August 19, 2008
Collins, it looks like de detrius is about to impact the oscillating breeze device for you all.... y'be safe and keep data radio on.

If you see any crabs or iguanas dropping on little parachutes, tell 'em they're LATE!

Member Since: January 20, 2005 Posts: 64 Comments: 9247
13. ScarlettOHara
4:01 PM GMT on August 17, 2008
Hope all is well !

just wondering? can you put the R&D guys on overtime to develop some anti-Fay devices? Something quickly and easily transported would be ideal since we really don't have a clue where she is going.

ROTFL .. Weather Channel just said we would be feeling the "wrath of Fay" as early as night in the Keys ..

Member Since: October 25, 2006 Posts: 186 Comments: 5805
12. seflagamma
2:25 PM GMT on August 09, 2008

Hi there. I saw some of your post around the blog, one of them was soo funny! Been miss seeing you.. Hope you are around more often soon.

Take care and you have a wonderful weekend!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 307 Comments: 41082
11. Redhead
5:02 AM GMT on August 06, 2008

{{{Flake and Better half}}} Come out, come out, wherever you are! :~) Miss you both!
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 7042
10. Raysfan70
10:45 AM GMT on June 15, 2008
HaPpY FaThEr's DaY {{Collins}}!

Member Since: July 28, 2005 Posts: 138 Comments: 57354
9. charlestonlady
11:20 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
just dropping by to say hi!
Member Since: June 26, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 16683
8. palmettobug53
1:51 AM GMT on June 08, 2008
Many thanks to your uncle. How I missed this yesterday, I don't know.... Sorry to be late in posting my thanks to him and all the others that were there that day.

Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26327
7. seflagamma
9:25 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Hi Collins,

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
Have a good one.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 307 Comments: 41082
6. Raysfan70
1:25 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
Member Since: July 28, 2005 Posts: 138 Comments: 57354
5. nightbloomingjasmine
12:04 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
I was shocked today at work when I mentioned it was D-Day and one of our 20 something year old employees said "what's that??"

My dad wasn't on the beach, he was in the Pacific theater. Navy Dive bomber
4. shoreacres
11:57 PM GMT on June 06, 2008
And it's possible my mom had a hand in it, somehow... she was a "Rosie the Riveter", and worked on planes in Moline, Illinois, at a John Deere plant that had been converted from tractor to airplane construction. In any event, thanks for bringing those events to mind.

I appreciate it.

Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
3. seflagamma
7:44 PM GMT on June 06, 2008

I have shivers and tears in my eyes. I loved the stories and we owe your uncle and rocket's Dad a big Thank you for what they did for us. That generation was like no other when it came to serving their country and doing what they had to do.

Thank you so much for sharing that story with us. May God Bless Them All!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 307 Comments: 41082
2. collinsfarm
7:31 PM GMT on June 06, 2008
That's interesting. Maybe he did.
Thanks and gratitude to your father for his service.
Member Since: September 1, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 1358
1. outrocket
6:28 PM GMT on June 06, 2008
My Dad may have dropped your Uncle..as my dad was 101st Airborne..He flew the suicide missions as a drop master..He dropped the paratroopers the night before D-Day behind enemy lines...The next day he was shot down over France supplying those troops...He was also the only supply plane to get through to Bastogne before Patton arrived..he was shot down that day also...
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11034

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