Men of D-Day


    
 Troop Carrier
Michael N. Ingrisano
Robert E. Callahan
Benjamin F. Kendig
John R. Devitt
Arthur W. Hooper
Ward Smith
Julian A. Rice
Charles E. Skidmore
Sherfey T. Randolph
Louis R. Emerson Jr.
Leonard L. Baer
Robert D. Dopita
Harvey Cohen
Zane H. Graves
John J. Prince
Henry C. Hobbs
John C. Hanscom
Charles S. Cartwright
 
 82nd Airborne
Leslie Palmer Cruise Jr.
Marie-T Lavieille
Denise Lecourtois
Howard Huebner
Malcolm D. Brannen
Thomas W. Porcella
Ray T. Burchell
Robert C. Moss
Richard R. Hill
Edward W. Shimko
 
 101st Airborne
John Nasea, Jr
David 'Buck' Rogers
Marie madeleine Poisson
Roger Lecheminant
Dale Q. Gregory
George E. Willey
Raymond Geddes
 
 Utah Beach
Joseph S. Jones
Jim McKee
Eugene D. Shales
Milton Staley
 
 Omaha Beach
Melvin B. Farrell
James R. Argo
Carl E. Bombardier
Robert M. Leach
Joseph Alexander
James Branch
John Hooper
Anthony Leone
George A. Davison
James H. Jordan
Albert J. Berard
Jewel M. Vidito
H. Smith Shumway
Louis Occelli
John H. Kellers
Harley A. Reynolds
John C. Raaen
Wesley Ross
Richard J. Ford
William C. Smith
Ralph E. Gallant
James W. Gabaree
James W. Tucker
Robert Watson
Robert R. Chapman
Robert H. Searl
Leslie Dobinson
William H. Johnson
 
 Gold Beach
George F. Weightman
Norman W. Cohen
Walter Uden
 
 Juno Beach
Leonard Smith
 
 Sword Beach
Brian Guy
 
 6th Airborne
Roger Charbonneau
Frederick Glover
Jacques Courcy
Arlette Lechevalier
Charles S. Pearson
 
 U.S.A.A.F
Harvey Jacobs
William O. Gifford
 
Civils
Philippe Bauduin
Albert Lefevre
René Etrillard
Suzanne Lesueur
 

 

  Denise Lecourtois
Neuville au Plain - Manche

My parents ran a combination grocery store and café in the town of Neuville au Plain, which bordered the road to Cherbourg. I was, at that time, 21 years old, and we all (I and my siblings) lived at my parents' home. My parents took care of the store, and we also milked the cows and cared for the animals that we had in the fields around the village.

From the perspective of our village, there was no suggestion as to what was about to happen. There were no abnormal activities, nor was there any sign that would have shown us what was going to happen during the night of June 5th, 1944.

On the evening of June 5th, we went to bed as usual. In the middle of the night, our father woke us and we then heard the loud bellowing of the aircraft that passed overhead. With the opening of the window to the 1st story room, we could see paratroopers descending, that would be landing in the fields surrounding the village. We saw them silently enter the village, hugging the walls of the houses as they entered.
During the previous week, there had been Germans stationed in the village, but they departed some days ago, and there remained no one except the civilians. Nobody exited their home, and we returned to bed and slept until morning.
At daybreak, we left the village, as we did not want to remain in the house next to the road, except for my father, who remained home the whole time.
For four days we wandered across fields between Houlbec and Bergeries searching for our animals that had run away. At night, we slept in barns on hay, with other civilians. We returned to the house at the end of 5 days to find our father there. During the course of our search, we found dead paratroopers in the ditches, as well as many dead animals. At the castle in Neuville, the horses were dead at the gates. Without doubt, the horses had been trying to get out through the gates, as their legs were between the bars.

Upon returning to our village, we helped our neighbor to take care of and milk his animals. He had taken the precaution of locking in his animals so that they could not run away. Additionally, at this moment, my sister was injured by the blast of an artillery shell that the Germans had fired from Ecausseville.

Later the Americans replaced the Germans at my parent's café. They accompanied us in the pastures when we went to milk the animals. We watched their convoys pass that came from Cherbourg, and they threw us oranges.

Denise Lecourtois     (April 13, 2004)

Translation from French by Thad J. Russell