July 13th, 1943,
I’m in Sicily, Italy. We attacked on July, 9th. We understood that we went to the battle when instructors gave us our ammunition: live bullets, grenade and our jump equipment. Then we gather in small groups on the tarmac to take inventory of our equipment. We were also briefed on our mission objectives and the jump order: I was the 5th.
The wait before boarding seemed an eternity to me, with everything we had on the back and the heat, I couldn’t wait to take off!
Once on the plane, we were all excited and very concentrated: it was hard to realize that we were going to fight! When the red light is on, we all got up, then we quickly checked our equipment and those of our comrades in front of us. Suddenly the green light came on, I vaguely heard the jumpmaster pronounced jump order “Go Boy Go Go! “I threw myself into the void!
As each jump, the shock is violent when the parachute opens, The reception was pretty well on arrival although the landing is far from smooth! I saw no one, neither friend nor enemie when I hit the ground, I am immediately rid of my parachute and my life jacket to try and find the others.
With some men, we met and we realized that we were at least 15 miles from our drop zone: long night marches were expected us (with only 0.25 gal of water per person) to reach our goal!
July 15th, 1943,
I get out of the hole … two days ago we returned to tour the bars, I don’t remember very well who started but a fight broke out between some paratroopers and other soldiers. The military police arrested all the present men, including me …