June 20th 1944
Army Ranger & OSS Agent 2nd lieutenant Michael Taylor is sitting outside the office of his commanding officer after a short but very mind numbing wait Michael was told the enter the office. Then he said "LT Michael Taylor reporting as ordered sir!" The Co returned to the salute and then he said to Michael "at ease LT at ease, please sit down". Michael sat down in a nearby chair and made himself as comfortable as possible.
After clearing his throat the Colonel began to speak "Michael the OSS has another mission for you. The German's have taken over a French estate and they are planning something big very big. Your mission is to parachute into France at midnight on June 22ND 1944 after landing.
Make your way to a French resistance safe house your contact at the safe house will supply you with a driver and a vehicle. Who will drive you to an area that overlooks the French estate. Take notes of what activity that you see then you must report it back to us here in England. Do you have any questions or concerns LT Taylor?
Michael shook his head no then he was dismissed from the colonel's office. Michael then returned to his quarters and he looked over his mission gear and the young LT noticed that he had a lot of gear he also knew that he would be jumping from a high altitude and during the descent some of or all of this gear could be lost.
So he decided that he needed to carry the lightest combat load possible while at the same time having enough gear to accomplish his mission. So he walked to the Armory and turned in the M1A1 Thompson Submachine gun he had been issued and exchanged it for an m1A1 paratrooper carbine with folding stock and several magazines of ammunition for it.
Once that was done he carried back to his quarters and placed it with his other gear which consists of the following items, M1A1 paratrooper Carbine with folding stock, Main parachute reserve parachute map compass Large bag of Tootsie roll chocolate candy several water canteens duct tape and lastly an A Victorinox Swiss Army knife known as the Officer's knife which he had purchased at the PX. After two days of training and mission preparation it was time to board the plane and fly to France.
When it was time to put his mission gear on, first he put his bag of Tootsie roll chocolate candy into one of the pockets of his sanitized uniform along with the compass and map. Then he put the water canteens onto the belt, then he grabbed the supply of magazines for his M1A1 Paratrooper carbine and he evenly distributed them out into several of the pockets.
Once that was done he put on his main parachute then his reserve parachute, then he folded the stock on his Carbine and tucked it behind his reserve parachute, and lastly he put a small pocket sized photo album into his helmet liner then put on the helmet.
After one final gear check he realized he had almost forgot his pocket knife so he grabbed that and put into one of his uniform chest pockets.
once all of his gear Michael walked to the airfield got on board talked with the airplane crew then he sat down in a seat near the plane's jump door fastened his safety belt then they plane's engines where started up and it taxied down the runway. After a few minutes the C-47 lifted off the runway and headed for France.
During the plane flight Michael took out the small photo album that he kept inside of his steel helmet he looked at the pictures for several minutes then he put the album back inside of his helmet for safe keeping.
After a long nerve shaking plane ride the Jumpmaster said loudly "Lieutenant please stand up and hook up"! Michael stood up and hooked up the static line for his main parachute.
Then he stood in the door way of the plane when it was time to jump the jumpmaster yelled jump! Michael jumped out of the plane once he was out Michael looked up and he saw that his chute had opened correctly. Then He slowly made his way to the ground below.
Michael landed hard with a big thump! Michael quickly got out of his main parachute then he hid it once it was hid he took the Paratrooper carbine out from behind the reserve parachute unfolded the stock and laid it down then he removed the reserve parachute and hid them both. Once the main parachute and reserve parachute were hidden Michael took out his compass and map and quickly figured out where he needed to go.
Once he had figured out where he needed to go he put his compass and map away in his uniform pocket then he grabbed his carbine slammed in a magazine of ammunition into it worked the bolt all the way back and let it fly forward under its own power released the safety and made his way to the French Resistance safe house.
.... There is more of this story ...