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D-Day - Pathfinders

Plane #11

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The 505th pathfinder team, commanded by 1st Lt. James J. Smith, Air Corps Commanding Officer Captain Kirkpatrick, took off as per schedule. Encountering little flak on the run in from landfall to DZ, dropped within 400 yards of previously designated pinpoint. The drop was six minutes early. The DZ was set up as per SOP, with the exception of one battalion light tee. This tee was not put into action due to the faulty assembly. Eurekas were set up within ten minutes of drop time. Eurekas were first triggered fifteen minutes from the time of the first element drop. Three serials dropped on and near the 505th pinpoint. All serials were approximately ten minutes early. The first serial dropped southeast of lighted tee, approximately one-half mile. The second serial dropped directly over lighted tee. The third serial dropped north by approximately one-half mile. The third serial appeared to be travelling at a speed of at least 150 miles per hour, at time of drop. Several jumpers sustained ruptures, due to the excessive speed.

(Source: Report of D-Day Pathfinders activities - 11 June 1944)

 
Paratroopers
  82nd Airborne Div., 505th PIR, 3rd Bn
Aircrew
  Pilot
  Co-pilot
  Navigator
  Crew Chief
  Radio Operator