Voices of D-Day: A. L. Corry
I was a bombardier on a B-26 Marauder for the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
I was awakened at two o'clock in the morning from a sound sleep. The officer of the day came running, shook me, said, "Come on, get up, time to get up." So we went around and started waking the rest of the guys up, two o'clock in the morning. We're going to have breakfast in about half an hour, and then briefing. Breakfast at that time of morning and briefing? There was something going on. So we did it. We all got up and dragged our butts out the door.
At the briefing room, everybody was real quiet that morning. Normally, there was a lot of mumbling going on, guys talking on the way to the briefing room, just discussing various little things -- what we did the other night, girlfriends, it's all talk going on. This morning, it was real quiet still. I think everybody sensed something. I know I did.
We sat there in the briefing room with our maps. We picked up all our map packets and had them on our lap, and momentarily, in comes the colonel from the back door, Colonel Story. He was a real hot jockey. He had his hat cocked back on his head and a short stubby cigar in his mouth. He said, "Hey guys, good morning, good morning, good morning. Well, here we are. This is it." This is it? What do you mean? He said, "This is the big day we're waiting for. That's what you all came here for. That's what we're here to do." He hadn't said a word yet about what we're doing, but finally he says, "We're going in there at six in the morning in France as air support for the Allied forces invading the Normandy coast of Europe. This will be the invasion."
That's when the quiet erupted into a big roar, you know. "Oh boy," everybody yelled. "Yea botz!" Yea botz, all right -- they hadn't seen us yet. We were all pretty glad. The TAC officers got up, pulled the charts down, and we took a grease pencil and marked our maps over some isinglass so we'd have a red line on our map and the bombs -- no bombs would be falling this side of that line. This side of the line would be all Allied troops, and beyond that line would be enemy territory.
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