|The D-Day invasion began with a dangerous attack by U.S. paratroopers. The paratroopers, dropped behind enemy lines, knew the risks and courageously went into battle. Only one sixth of the men in the 101st Division reached their destination.MSgt. Charlie Terry, 93, of Richmond was one of those men. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Terry:Charlie Terry
Charlie Terry enlisted on September 13, 1937 at the age of 17.
He said boot camp was not like it is today. “It was tough. When you went through basic, your drill sergeant would kick you in the rear with his boot. That was in 1937.”
Terry was later selected as a paratrooper and sent to Ft. Benning, GA. He would eventually arrive in England where he continued training until June 6, 1944.
“They’d load us on a plane and say ‘Be prepared to go.’ The first time they put us on a plane we sat there for five hours. In a C-47 and there’s no room. Then they pulled us off because the weather got bad. They did that about three or four times. Then finally they put us on the plane and gave each one of us a fifth of whiskey. We didn’t know where we were going, but they said, ‘This is D-Day. We’re going into Normandy.’ Our pilot overshot about eight or nine miles. But we got the green light and we jumped,” Terry recalled.
After suffering severe frostbite in the Battle of the Bulge, Terry was sent home in November of 1945. He retired from the Reserves in 1958.
Taking into account both training and combat missions, Terry completed 48 jumps.