England, Upon returning to his tent in Aldbourne England, after having seen a movie in on of the airfield hangars, George Luz found that all soldiers were scrambling around. They were putting charcoal on their faces to camouflage the paleness of their skin. George asked his buddies what was going on "We're going tonight!" was the answer. Luz, 23 at the time has no memory about the conversations on the plane ride from England to Normandy for no word was spoken as they flew over the English Channel on their way to Normandy, France. "We were young, didn't know where we were going and didn't know what to expect."
Normandy, France, As soon as they finally reached their objective the Germans welcomed them with Anti Aircraft fire, welcoming the Paratroopers to the Utah Beach area. "We could hear the bullets hitting the side of the plane and I was sitting pretty close to the door so I could see the tracer bullets coming up, it was so thick you almost could walk over it as it resembled a carpet of light!"
When Luz jumped out the door he instantly noticed that something was wrong. "There was not a soul with me. I was all alone!" Normally everyone should have been relatively close to each other as they were used to talk to each other on the way down. When George hit the ground he looked for his buddies but there was nobody there. George ran to a hedgerow to find some cover and to look up to see what was happening and where his buddies were.
Then George saw the most horryfying experience of his time in Normandy. "I saw my buddies being hit by tracer bullets as they were still coming down." It took George about an hour to find a friendly face and to realize that the pilot of the plane had made a mistake by dropping them in a wrong place. They were dropped 9 miles off from the designated landing zone, inland from Utah Beach. The pilot must have flown too low and too fast. "I did not get to see the beach until the next morning because of the misdrop."
Luz points out that his time with the 101st Airborne was invaluable. Despite the fact of heavy casualties his regiment suffered during the war, George feels that it made him friends that money can never buy. A bond only to be found in a combat situation, where men depend on each other and trust their lives to one another. "One of the best things that ever happened to me was when I joined the Airborne."
Story by Lana Miller, George Luz's daugther.
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