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Richard G. Allsman - F Co.

In the early darkness hours of D-DAY, I dropped from the skies into a tree in an apple orchard near Chef-Du-Pont, France. I cut a strap allowing myself to fall to a hedgerow and then onto the ground below.

Soon I was joined by a couple of other troopers. We started to walk towards a barn, until we heard voices coming from the barn.

Having orders not to engage the enemy in small groups and not knowing whether the voices were friend or foe we took another direction.

34 years later I returned to Normandy for a Regimental re-union and was able to visit the orchard and farm where I had landed on D-DAY.

The man of the house had been one of the voices we heard in the barn on that night of 5-6th June, 1944. He told me the story of 2 small brothers.

Hearing the ack-ack, they sneaked out of the barn to see what was going on. Having seen a paratrooper land in a tree, they discussed among themselves what they should do?

Then they saw the paratrooper leave their property, they quickly collected the parachute and back packs as valuable treasures.

During the following years, their mother had used the reserve chute for sheets, but the back pack was placed in the hayloft, where it remained untouched until June 1978.

The French farmer went to the barn and returned back with the back pack, which he presented it to me. Being unable to bring it back home with me, I left the back pack with the farmer.

Much to my pleasure and surprise, the back pack arrived at my home a month later, having been sent by airmail by the French family.

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