Joe Crilley

St. Mere Eglise

From Utah Beach we go to St. Mere Eglise, a small Norman village which saw the symbolic suffering of the airborne soldiers in the darkest on June 6th. Elements of the 508th PIR were misdropped and landed directly in the German controlled town which were fighting a fire caused by the aerial bombardment. Defenseless 82nd troopers were gunned down as they floated to earth. One paratrooper, Pvt. John Steele landed on the town's church steeple and pretended to be dead as the massacre happened below. Today a dummy with a parachute hangs from the spot where Pvt. Steele landed. Later the Germans hauled the wounded Steele in, suffering more from the hours of constant ringing of the bells than his wound in the foot. He would escape captivity when the Germans retreated from the village and forgot to take him. What?
St. Mere Eglise II

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