My dad, Charles L. HEISER (1913-2001), didn’t talk much about the war. When he did it was the good times he mostly talked about like transporting troops from Florida to San Francisco on troop trains. Women and booze were always on the trains to keep the men’s morale up. It was a party all the way across the country.
Dad eventually went to Europe where he served as a glider and airplane mechanic. I asked if he ever parachuted from a plane. “No,” he said. “I pushed men out of the plane,” which was Dad’s funny way of saying it was his job to tell them when to jump. Although he may have had to push a few men out from time to time.
Dad was in one of the 13,000 aircraft that participated in the D-Day invasion. He said D-Day was a mass of confusion. So many men and ships and planes, and no one really knew what anyone else was doing. He was in a plane, telling soldiers when to jump. He said they couldn’t see anything and just hoped they were in the right place. We all know how the D-Day story ends.
That’s my dad’s D-Day story. What D-Day stories have your fathers, grandfathers or uncles shared with you? Please share in a comment.
This blog post is a slightly revised version of a blog post that appeared on this website in 2014.
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