Remembering D-Day, ‘Three minutes over Normandy’

Remembering D-Day, ‘Three minutes over Normandy’

Brendan Quisenberry, in original WWII era paratrooper garb in front of a vintage C-47, one of more than 2,000 used on D-Day. Photo: Provided

Local paratrooper, soldier pays homage to 82nd, 101st Airborne

By David Fleet
Normandy — From the open door of a C-47 Brendan Quisenberry recalls the Normandy countryside about 800 feet over the Village of Azeville, France. The “static line” attached to the aircraft would initiate the opening of his round canopy parachute as the soldier stepped forward for the brief descent to the now placid grassy field.
Eighty-years earlier that designated landing area near the French town of Azeville, was an active German artillery battery. The paratroopers were among the first to land on Nazi occupied French soil as thousands of Allied forces were to follow in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944.
“These kids must have been terrified,” said Quisenberry, a Brandon Township resident and 2004 Clarkston High School graduate who enlisted in the Army after high school. “It’s the fear of the unknown. You’re thousands of miles from home and you’re jumping into the dark to what you think is the drop zone with bullets zipping past you as you fall into the wrong landing area. They were overwhelmed and scared.”
Quisenberry’s early June experience over Normandy was through the Round Canopy Parachuting Team, a nonprofit organization to honor the history of Allied Airborne Forces. The group performs round canopy to increase awareness and educate the public about the paratroopers from WWII. Quisenberry’s connection with military paratroopers is grounded in a remarkable career.
Fore more than two decades, Quisenberry, served in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, including 11 Bravo U.S. Army Military Occupational Specialty, 17 combat deployments, Green Beret with the 20th Special Forces Group National Guard and the 7th Special Forces Group.
“The military is all I’ve known since high school,” said Quisenberry, who will retire this fall. “I’ve been Airborne status my entire career with the Army.”
With a strong interest in military history not to mention more than 7,000

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