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ROY. T. BENNETT

Paratrooper Tells Of D-Day Jump Into Nazi Stronghold

   One of the most revealing and descriptive accounts of the D-Day invasion to come from a Dayton paratrooper who actually took part in the invasion has been related by First Sgt. Roy T. Bennett, 34, who is now home on a 30-day furlough at 402 Holt street.
   Twenty-foot upright "sticks," ragged hedgerows and deep ditches and culverts, machine-gun nests, marshy meadows and thousands of "Jerries" were awaiting Sergeant Bennett, who, with hundreds of glider-borne soldiers and other paratroopers, were dropped 20 miles behind the German lines from the inky-black sky at 2 o'clock on the morning of June 6, 1944.
   From the moment he touched ground and found three German machine guns within 75 yards of him, until the day when, after losing all the other 12 paratroopers from his plane, he found his way back to an allied station, the sergeant fought almost continuously for seven days.

Destroyed German Tanks

   While overseas, he destroyed with Gammon grenades three Nazi tanks, killing seven Germans, and later knocked out" two more tanks. Part of this combat took place in the region of the Waal canal, which is the dividing line between Holland and Germany. Bennett came through two combats "just wounded," which to him was no less than "a miracle. He explained that only 63 men of his original group of 347 were still "whole" at the end of one seven-day ordeal, and that 200 lay wounded in [a] small, cramped hospital nearby.
   Commenting upon weapons, Sergeant Sergeant Bennett said that the Germans have an instrument similar to and almost as effective as our "bazooka," but that theirs requires no less than a two-man team.
   Optimistic about the lasting effect of the German counter-offensive, Bennett said that he was in Paris when it began and although our losses were "tremendous," "there's little doubt that we'll have them shoved out of the war entirely before the year ends." Bennett wears one cluster on his purple heart ribbon for wounds received received in Ampherville near Cherbourg, and the purple heart itself Is for action in Holland.  In addition to those awards he wears the presidential unit citation, and has made two jumps in combat. Before leaving for his furlough, he learned tha': he had been recommended for appointment to first lieutenant on the field of battle. He was an outstanding football player at Roosevelt high school and later at Ohio Wesleyan college before before entering the service in October, 1942.. He left for overseas duty In December, 1943. He is the son of Mrs. Bessie Bennett.

 

 

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