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.