Arthur W. Hooper
Glider Pilot - 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron, 434th Troop Carrier
I was a Glider Pilot that landed in Normandy
near Ste-Mere-Eglise on 6 June 1944 at about 4.30 am.
We landed in flood field, had 4 members of
101st Airborne Division plus jeep with radio equipment. Because
field was flooded, we did not get the jeep out till much later on
D-day, we landed not to far from where the General Pratt was killed
on there landing.
I was in Glider #7 as I recall. After landing we came under small
arms fire and headed for nearest hedgerow for cover. Our orders
were to stay off roadways till daylight and shot at all that were
on same. Take no prisoners till after dawn. We were not sure if
we were near our landing area but after daybreak hooked up with
our airborne troops and by early afternoon were in Ste-Mere-Eglise
and spent the night of 6 June there.
Early evening of 6 June another group gliders came into this area,
but were under attack and suffered heavy losses in landing.
As I recal late on 7 June the forces that
landed on Utah with tanks reached us and we took some German prisoners
back to beach area, and not long after retuned to England by ship,
to be ready to go again if needed. The co-pilot was assigned to
me only a day or so before we left, I cannot recall his name, he
was not from our Sqd? We became separated after landing and I never
saw or heard from him again!!!!!
When you are young you take all this
for granted, and feel you could live for ever, so many did not!!!!!
Arthur W. Hooper (June 01, 2003)