(Photo: Looks plenty rough)




 I remember straining to get my first look at the legendary Island as it came into sight. Even though we'd had a fair amount of time with the sand table model, the Island looked different than I'd expected. Smoke from the B-25's and A-20's was evident from quite a distance. Other planes doing the "A" Field drop were stretched out ahead of us, and as we got closer to the drop zone I saw chutes blossoming from them. As soon as the jumpers were clear, the planes went into a shallow left turn for the next pass at the field.

We had a go-point given to us at the sand table. I believe it was the road down to Battery Wheeler. From that we were told to jump at 3 or 4 seconds past the go-point. Jumping the third stick gave me a chance to adjust my go count. The first two sticks jumped a little early and I was determined I was not going to jump as early as they had. I'd adjusted my thinking determined to wait 10 seconds and then go. The crew chief was at the door and thought I was not going to jump. He was banging me on the leg as I leaned into the slipstream to get a good look at the field. I know the count, in my excitement was fast, but I counted to 10 and went.

I landed about a third of the way from the last officers quarter and Battery Wheeler. 

Lt. Don Abbott

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