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  • Writer's pictureRay III

The Parachute Man @ Saint-Mere-Eglise

John Steele, his name alone sounds like the name of an action marvel hero. John Steele, through a twist of fate, became a hero on D-Day and solidified his name into the history books.

Private Steele was far from his hometown of Metropolis, Illinois when his 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division jumped out of their C-47 early AM (nightime) on D-Day with the objective of making the strategic town of Saint-Mere-Eglise the first French town to be liberated.

(The Church st St. Mere Eglise - Parachute View)

Private Steele's parachute snagged on one of the pinnacles of the church tower, where he remained for 3 hours. He played dead, avoiding sure death with his actions. He was later captured by German forces, but was able to escape and continue to fight with his battalion to take the town.

John Steele’s story is visualized in the movie ‘The Longest Day’.

Private Steele was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.

Private Steel went on to fight in Operation Market Garden, and survived the war. John moved back to St. Mere-Eglise a hero.

Today we collectively toast Private Steele and his fellow Army paratroopers for the impact they had on our lives today.

Thank you John Steele! Hero.

(Photo of church 1944)

(Photo of church today)

(South entrance 1944)

(South entrance today)

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