D-Day Stories: Prayer Book Saves Paratrooper’s Life | History

I’m Guy Whidden. I parachuted into
Normandy on D-Day. I was 20 years old. [MUSIC PLAYING] When you’re way up there,
you’re not conscious there’s a hard ground. All you see is the
wide open skies. It’s just like a
different world. I was sick and tired
of being in a plane. I wanted out. [MUSIC PLAYING] It was all over so fast. You know, you jump at 300 feet. You don’t have time to
really think about anything. [MUSIC PLAYING] Planes were crashing. Paratroopers were
hitting the ground before the chutes opened. Tracer bullets going
up at the planes. Anti-aircraft fire. It was like the Fourth of July. A lot of noise. A lot of noise. All of a sudden,
this mortar round hit, and I heard this
thing hit my chest. I thought, oh, my god. I’ve been hit by something. Then, I put my hand there,
and I took my prayer book out. And a piece of metal was stuck
to the last cover of the book. Well, that’s divine
intervention. You kind of think, hey,
somebody is looking after me for some reason. [GUNFIRE] I never wanted to
shoot and kill people. Yeah, you have to fight the war,
and you have to shoot and kill. But you don’t have to enjoy it,
which I never did, you know. But you had to do
what you had to do. It’s war. It’s my friends who died so long
ago that I’m thinking about. So many of them died very
early and young that they saw a little of life, so
we have to be grateful. Years go by, and all you can
do is just remember them. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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