Rudy Kos, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment
Rudy Kos was one of the men that were supposed to reinforce the beachhead at the end of d-day. He was in the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 82nd Airborne Division. Kos and the rest of the crew had arrived early in the morning of June 6th at the airfield in southern England.
Kos tells his story:
At the airfield came the call that it wasn't an exercise this time but the real thing. I was part of the crew of a 57mm anti tank gun. Crew and material had been spread over three gliders. The glider I was in carried the gun, a second glider carried the Jeep that was needed to move the gun and the third carried the rest of the crew that didn't fit in the first two gliders.
Early in the morning we went on our way. My glider was towed across the Channel by a C-47. When we had neared the drop zone the pilot unhooked and now it was time to find a safe spot to land the glider. Coming into our drop zone we were hit by small arms fire and flak. Landing into the small farms( hedge rows) seemed impossible but we did land safely. As soon as we were safely on the ground it was our job to find the Jeep to pull our gun out of the glider. The fields around us were full with gliders by this time and it was quite a chaotic. Three gliders trying to find eachother was a difficult task. Machine gun and rifle fire was all around us while we were trying to regroup. When we had finally found eachother we took out the gun and made it ready for action. At that time an officer approached us and asked us if our gun was in firing order. When we confirmed this he requested us to fire a couple of rounds into a certain farm house which we did. Fifteen Krauts came out of the house when we stopped firing. They surrendered and I could see that they were airborne troopers just like us. After this first successful action we went on our way to St. Mere d'Eglise.
Read about his memories of the Holland drop here...
Tallie Crocker 4th Inf. Division
Just before darkness, while we were in a fire fight with the Germans, a large number of gliders towed by C-47's and escorted by P-47 Fighters unexpectedly appeared overhead. The gliders were landing in small fields surrounded by hedge rows and trees. The trees sheared the wings off the gliders while landing. Some gliders were on our side and others on the German side. We sent patrols out to lead the survivors inside our lines. We learned that each glider was carrying a jeep or a 57 mm gun and crew. Needless to say, a number of personnel were either killed, injured or captured. Our first day of combat ended on that sad note.
Lt. Marvin Litke, Pilot in the 71st Squadron of the 434th Troop Carrier Group
Marvin had dropped paratroopers of the 101st during the night. More...
I flew the second mission that afternoon, a glider tow. It was dusk when we dropped. The flack was very heavy and we made a tight turn and hit the deck. As we flew back across the coast I could see for the first time the mass of shipping with the big ships firing broadsides toward the shore. There were about five C-47 aircraft that had ditched near shore, the crews were standing on the wings waving at us as we flew over.
I remember a pleading voice coming in over the radio Asking for the aircraft to please not fly low over the beach as it caused the navy ships to have to hold up on firing missions. I remember being so elated (high) that I wanted to return to shore to see the grand event. For once better judgment was in gear.
On D plus 3 we returned to a small strip carved out of the bluffs over Omaha beach. This time we were to pick up wounded and carried the flight nurses attached to us. We continued to fly in and out of this strip for a number of days.
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