The Heroes From D-Day 1944 Had Fearful Moments When They parachuted in.

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Military news…

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What follows is some information about some Band of Brothers who lived right in my home town. These soldiers fought in WWII and parachuted behind enemy lines on D-Day June of 1944. They were called Easy company. They are part of my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.


Band of Brothers in my home town.

One of the honors I shared was right in my home town of Salem, Oregon. Three members of the Band of Brothers live close to me. Two of the three died before I started this book.

One name was Leo Boyle and high school teacher and then the special education director. He was the least known. He died in 1997. That was four years before the Emmy winning television series aired.

Only Bill Wingett was still living when I started this book. He was in a military assisted facility in Lebanon, Oregon. I was ready to go interview him and the pandemic hit. He died before I could get to him.

He is part of the ever shrinking Easy Company of the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, which most Americans know as the Band of Brothers.

I also personally met another Band of Brothers in Minneapolis, Wisconsin.  I bought his book that shares many of the actual happenings in WWII that was done by this group.

A list shows that there are only 14 Brothers left, but it is outdated.

Easy company was involved of some of the most brutal on D-Day over 75 years ago. They also fought during Market Garden-the battle of Bastogne, and the Battle of the Bulge.

But the whole story about them got started on June 6th, 1944. They were assigned a night jump behind enemy lines several hours before the invasion.

Wingett said that one day was a “red-letter day.”

As important as that day was some details faded for him who just turned 97 during this interview for the Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon. The interviewer was Capi Lynn.

“I may not be able to dig up some of the stories, but I lived them,” Wingett said. He really didn’t want to tell his own stories.

Years ago he described D-Day like this, “We got in an airplane in England and we jumped out of the Damn thing in France, and the fight began. There’s not much more to say about that.”

His group jumped into darkness in the early morning hours.

The target was Utah Beach. The allies divided the 60-mile coastal stretch into five code-named sectors for the invasion. Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sward were the others.

Wingett landed where the Germans flooded the area as a defensive tactic. Many paratroopers were killed by gun-fire before they hit the ground. And many more drowned.

Wingett struggled in the water That day. He only survived because he was slowly able to shed much of the 150 pounds of gear he was carrying, including a main and reserve chutes, weapons, ammunition, and rations, between breaths of air above water.

Malarkey from Salem, jumped roughly in the same area and landed in a tree. He dangled in his chute until he got his bearings, then cut himself loose and fell to the ground.

He went on to serve more time on the front lines than any Easy Company soldiers. He received the Bronze Star for his bravery in the Battle of Brecourt Manor.

Boyle also parachuted into Normandy, where he was wounded and evacuated to England. Boyle was later promoted to Staff Sergeant, and served as commanding officer Richard Winters’ right hand man before being severely wounded during Operation Market Garden. He was discharged after nine months in various hospitals.

Wingett said he never had a close call even though he was wounded three times.

I wasn’t able to see all of his medals because of the Pandemic. He had a purple heart with two oak leaf clusters. This was along with the many medals, ribbons, badges, and patches displayed in a frame on the wall in the apartment where he lived at the Oregon Veteran’s Home in Lebanon, Oregon.


There are more parts of the book dedicated to these heroes from WWII. Come back of ten to check them out. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you all future posts will come directly to your inbox.


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