The highlight of the trip was being able to jump into Sainte-Mere-Eglise along with troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Infantry Regiment and many of our allied airborne partners. It was an early morning rise at 0430 and on to manifest. We then took buses to Cherbourg, the site of the airfield from which the planes would launch. We had four C-130Js, a German C-160, and a French Casa. In addition, this was where the re-enactors had their aircraft, two C-47s and a P-47.
Our flight was half German Fallschirmjaeger and half U.S. Packed in like sardines, we flew around a 100 feet for an hour before they let us out.
This was the exact same field the 82nd jumped into on to capture the Pont de la Fiere bridge. Thankfully, the fields were not flooded by the Germans as happened during the actual event and I had the softest landing I ever had.
After the ceremony at the statue of Iron Mike, I had the pleasure of promoting on of my officers and re-enlisting one of my best NCOs. The day doesn’t get much better than that!