"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 flight missions. His version of "What Really Happened On D-Day" includes facts never before published about the Normandy invasion on June 6th, 1944.
The top Allied brass believed the element of surprise was critical to defeating Hitler. They felt everything hinged on the success of a surprise invasion on Day One. Because Hitler believed we would invade at Calais, the closest point between England and Europe, Normandy further south was chosen instead.
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 run the war months into wintertime. The Germans were accustomed to Europe's 6-foot snows. Americans were not. Snow storms would be a death blow for us - both in the air and on the ground. O
At 11pm on June 5th, 864 C-47s carrying 21 paratroopers each took off from 12 different airfields around England. As usual, radio communication was forbidden. All lights were forbidden except for a tiny blue light cupped on the backside of our wings - visible only to the guy behind you. By the time we reached the southern tip of England, all 864 planes managed to successfully blend into formation without a problem or word spoken. We all breathed a sigh of relief - until we reached the coastal fog.