I was the pilot of a C-47 towing a Waco CG4A glider with 13 troops i it. The glider cut loose successfully at the appropriate time and then I took ground fire which caused both engines in the C-47 to quit and the plane was on fire. I successfully crash landed in a small field by dragging the right wing on the ground in order to swing the nose of the plane around to get it between 2 trees breaking the speed of the plane. The crash broke the fuselage in two and the wall immediately behind the co-pilot and I collapsed and the other 3 men (crew chief and radio operator and a Lt. Col getting credit for a combat flight) falling through. I sustained broken ribs on the left side because the control wheel hit me hard upon landing. .The co-pilot’s left arm had a compound fracture, but the other men were not injured. Fortunately, I had picked up out my footlocker at the barracks a small compass which came in handy finding our way to Utah Beach.
We exited through an escape hatch over the pilot’s seat and took shelter in a ditch beside the crashed plane. Immediately upon exiting, a German machine gun kept us pinned down until dark. Because of our injuries, we had to open gates that separated the farmers fields to gate through and we had been told the gates could be boobie trapped. Fortunately none we opened were, but it made me nervous each time I opened one. We found a band of American paratroopers, i took a gun and ammo from a dead paratropper and we hiked and drove after obtaining a captured jeep fighting our way through the German troops to Utah beach. There we found an American first aid tent, got a can of pork and beans, coffee and 4 cigarettes. Next we were picked up and loaded on a “duck” and transported to an LST ship and taken to England.
We honor you, Louis Richard Emerson Jr.