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THE ASSAULT LANDINGS IN NORMANDY D DAY: MIDNIGHT JUNE 5 —MIDNIGHT JUNE; 6
What is your full name? Leonard Henry Cox What is your present address? 76 Marsham Road Kings Heath Birmingham 14 Telephone numbers
What was your unit, division, corps? C Coy 13th Parachute Batt.
Where did you land and at what time? 0100 hrs 6th June
What was your rank end age on June 6, 1944? Corporal 22 Were you married at that time? No What is your wife* s name? Did you have any children at that time?
When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? a week previous
What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? Normal drop trip - A.A. five over French coast Platoon commander had a good supply of rum which was shared around (Tiger Lea) Air rather tense
Were there any rumours aboard ship? (Some people remember hearing that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in *)
Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? No
Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day? No Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties? No Were you woundod? Slight head-wound
How were you wounded?
Do you remember what it was like —that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were you so surprised that you felt nothing? No
Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed amusing at the time? Or anything unexpected or out- of-place? We were en-planed a waiting for the take-off the engines spluttered + then silence a mad "de-bus" + into another "Dakota" when we had been training an "Albermarle" and yet all planes were supposed to be air-worthy + tested
Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic^ or simply memorable, that struck you more than anything else? A parting service was held by our Padre at the concentration area before we left for Breje-Nortis it always struck me as being so touching everyone in battle-hit blast faces + yet everyone deeply moved by the occassion
3 • In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly strange or stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either?
Instant help of French resistance
Do you know of anybody else who landed within the 24 hours (midnight 5 June to midnight 6 June) either as infantry, glider or airborne troops, whom we should write to?
Wm Railton 152 Burnley Road Harle Syke No Burnberg
What do you do now?
Process engravers - Driving a Despatch
Please let us have this questionnaire as soon as possible, so that we can include your experiences in the book. We hope that you will continue your story on separate sheets if we have not left sufficient room. Full acknowledgement will be given in a chapter called "Where They Are Now." Cornelius Ryan J oan 0. Isaacs The Reader ' s Digest
I was to be lucky man of 9 Plt "C" Co to deal mainly with mines On the break-down of our aircraft as bundled into a Dakota + I am now wondering if this was a diversionary aircraft as we landed so far in + yet the aircraft airbed the supposed dropping zone four times- myself going out on the third time in I landed at Putot-en-Aige + I was completely alone We ran into flack at the coast + maybe we were pushed off course On landing I gathered myself together I had doffed with hit bug + rifle I tried to get my bearings but was completely lost- I landed near the roadside + in a very big field I could not hear gun-fire only aircraft overhead I made off across the fields lying low every now + again eventually day-light came + I was heading West near a main road which I now know as the Troarn -Putot-en-Aige road I met up with two Canadians from the Canadian Para. + after awhile wer were surprised by a light armoured car I had a "gamma-bomb" which was hastily packed + which I slung at the vehicle the vehicle was dis-abled but then another came up + we made off + were fired upon [?] with machine gun fire I was parted from the other boys + and again on my own I made off towards [?] but found going hard as the Germans were very prominent I then had to about town + found my way back to ----roughly where I came from I metup with Sgt Smith of my own Platoon + we then contacted the French + were amazed to find where we were After three weeks of evading + exciting experiences I was finally taken prisoner + escaped a month later- rejoining my unit