As far as I know,
our H Company's stick of troopers led by LT Victor Grabbe were
the only airborne paratroopers who sang their way across the
English channel, prior to jumping out over Normandy on D-Day.
All was quiet for
a time while we were flying over the channel. It was very dark
in the C.47. Most of us, like myself had our thoughts on our
loved ones, and no doubt feeling sorry for ourselves as we knew
we might not make it home. I wondered how many of us would
Somehow LT Grabbe
sensed the tension and he loudly shouted, "HEY FELLOWS, HOW
ABOUT SOME SONGS?"
That broke the
with "LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART," then another "DON'T SIT UNDER
THE APPLE TREE WITH ANYONE ELSE BUT ME," then "DEEP IN THE HEART
OF TEXAS," and so it went on.
We sang many more
oldies for the next ten minutes or so. It was great, as it
relaxed us and took our minds off ourselves and the coming
The red light soon
came on, and we stood up, hooked up, and shouted our equipment
Then the green
light came on and out we went amidst the upcoming German flak.
The rest is
Victor Grabbe was seriously wounded later in June, 1944, and
died in an English hospital.
As a survivor I
will never forget the intelligence and smart thinking of our
Lieutenant, nor will the other survivors of his platoon.