"Heroes of WWII ~ A Pilot's Memories" is a personal memoir of Bud's military service in a collection of short stories about events he witnessed during the war. His version of "What Really Happened On D-Day" includes facts never before published about the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.
The top Allied brass knew everything hinged on the success of a surprise invasion on Day One. Because Hitler believed they would invade at Calais, the closest point between England and Europe, they chose Normandy much further south instead. It worked.
Eisenhower was torn. He had to postpone D-Day several times due to bad weather. If pilots could not see, our airpower and manpower losses on Day One would lose the whole war. But if he waited too long for fog to clear, it would push everything to wintertime. The Germans were accustomed to Europe's 6-foot snows. Americans were not. Snow storms would be a death blow for our troops - both in the air and on the ground. O
"At 11pm on June 5, 864 C-47 planes loaded with paratroopers took off from 12 different airfields around England. As always, radio communication was forbidden. All lights were forbidden except for a tiny blue cup light on the backside of our wings, visible only to the guy behind you. By the time we reached the southern tip of England, all 12 groups managed to successfully blend into perfect formation without a word spoken. We all breathed a sigh of relief - until we reached the Normandy coast.