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Lieutenant Colonel Raymond E. Singleton

82nd Airborne Division - 80th Anti-Tank Battalion

Utah Beach

 

We landed at 0420 in the morning at Ste Marie du Mont. Everything went well until we got just between the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and then there was heavy flak. We came in a column of fours, and it was a nice formation, and we ran into a cloud bank, milky in texture, we could see very little. There was a lot of flak, small arms fire, machine gun fire and snipers. The glider pilots did a fine job. We came in 14 hours after the last paratrooper landed. Anti-tank guns were scattered all over the area. It seems that we landed when all the Germans were awake. We landed at about four o'clock and we cut loose and glided about ten miles before landing. We landed very smoothly. We took in 16 guns in the dark and the next day we had about five out of those 16 within the Division area. Ten men are needed by a squad. The CG4s had one gun, a little ammunition and two men, or, two men and a jeep which should have a machine gun on it to protect the men. With CG-13 we could probably get guns and more personnel. The guns were OK but we did not have enough personnel. 

(On the evening of Thursday, 13 August 1944, a debriefing conference was held at the Glebe Mount House, Leicester. During the course of the conference each commander present who had commanded a unit the size of a battalion or larger of the 82d Airborne Division in Operation Neptune, was permitted to talk for not to exceed ten minutes. Instructions were that each officer was to speak freely, without restraint, regarding any aspect of the operation during its airborne phase and to offer any criticism he saw fit in the interests of improving our operational technique in future combat. Commanders spoke in the order in which it was planned that they would land. Their statements were taken down verbatim as far as possible.)

(Courtesy: National Archives)