Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

D-Day

June 6, 1944. The day when ordinary men banded together and advanced to free Western Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.

Many men never returned, but those who did tell the tales that forever honor the memories of those who didn't.

Robert Lee Atkinson came home.

HARTSVILLE -- Sixty-one years ago Monday, Robert Lee Atkinson of Hartsville was sitting in a glider, crossing the English Channel, waiting to be dropped onto Normandy.

“They towed us behind C-47 (aircraft) from England and dropped us about 10 to 12 miles from the beach, for us to fight back toward the water,” said Atkinson, who was one of about 15 soldiers on a glider.

The quiet aircraft were deployed over battle zones in World War II because the enemy could not hear them coming.

Atkinson’s route to Normandy began in 1942, when he was drafted at the age of 19. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division as a charter member, and he was member of the 80th AA Battalion.

Atkinson, with the rest of the glider men and paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, were some of the first troops on the ground at Normandy.


more from Morning News Online

I am thankful for men like Robert Lee Atkinson...whether known or unknown...ordinary men who do the extraordinary, be they cloaked in armor of protection, a uniform of bravery, or a shroud of honor.

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