Normandy, France, Holland, Bastogne, Belgium, Germany
E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne
Upon returning to his tent in Aldbourne England, after having seen
a movie in on of the airfield hangars, George Luz found that all
soldiers were scrambling around. They were putting charcoal on their
faces to camouflage the paleness of their skin. George asked his
buddies what was going on "We're going tonight!" was the
answer. Luz, 23 at the time has no memory about the conversations
on the plane ride from England to Normandy for no word was spoken
as they flew over the English Channel on their way to Normandy,
France. "We were young, didn't know where we were going and
didn't know what to expect."
As soon as they finally reached their objective the Germans welcomed
them with Anti Aircraft fire, welcoming the Paratroopers to the
Utah Beach area. "We could hear the bullets hitting the side
of the plane and I was sitting pretty close to the door so I could
see the tracer bullets coming up, it was so thick you almost could
walk over it as it resembled a carpet of light!"
When Luz jumped out the door he instantly noticed
that something was wrong. "There was not a soul with me. I
was all alone!" Normally everyone should have been relatively
close to each other as they were used to talk to each other on the
way down. When George hit the ground he looked for his buddies but
there was nobody there. George ran to a hedgerow to find some cover
and to look up to see what was happening and where his buddies were.
Then George saw the most horryfying experience
of his time in Normandy. "I saw my buddies being hit by tracer
bullets as they were still coming down." It took George about
an hour to find a friendly face and to realize that the pilot of
the plane had made a mistake by dropping them in a wrong place.
They were dropped 9 miles off from the designated landing zone,
inland from Utah Beach. The pilot must have flown too low and too
fast. "I did not get to see the beach until the next morning
because of the misdrop."
Band of Brothers
Luz points out that his time with the 101st Airborne was invaluable.
Despite the fact of heavy casualties his regiment suffered during
the war, George feels that it made him friends that money can never
buy. A bond only to be found in a combat situation, where men depend
on each other and trust their lives to one another. "One of
the best things that ever happened to me was when I joined the Airborne."
Story by Lana Miller, George Luz's daugther.
Shoulderpatch of the 101st Airborne.
George on the famous 117 miles march to Atlanta which Easy Company
George before being shipped over to England
George in front of his home West Warwick, RI
right after the war.