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FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2009

Lt. Walter Christoff "Chris" Heisler (Co F, 507th PIR) jumped into the darkness from aircraft 42-23638 at 0232 hrs on on D-Day.  The plane was number 31 in Serial 24 flown by the 61st Troop Carrier Group, 14th Troop Carrier Squadron out of Barkston Hearth, England.  Heisler, like thousands of other paratroopers, soon found himself on the ground looking for comrades to assemble with.

Chris never located any of his men after he parachuted. Since he was in the front of the stick jumping from his C-47 he was totally unaware that the plane had been hit by enemy fire soon after he exited. The plummeting C-47 lost altitude so quickly that one paratrooper had not even had time to jump.  He was killed in the crash along with the five members of the air crew.  Once found by people of Négreville they were buried wrapped in their chutes.  The surviving paratroopers were scattered over 250-square miles.

Only after his first return to Normandy in 2000 did he learn that his plane was the only one of the 36 aircraft serial that had gone down and that one of his men had been killed in the crash  while many others had been killed by German troops once they ere on the ground.

is a small village

is central to town

Getting Ready
Rodolphe Roger (r) takes notes while an interview is conducted

Church Square
was dedicated to Chris Heisler (507th) in June 20907

Parade of Honor
approaches dedication site from community center

Community Band
provided music

Community Colors
of many surrounding towns were displayed

Floral Wreath
was borne by Emil

also brought flowers

Floral Tributes
clutched in tiny hands

New Panel
commemorating those who died in the crash awaited unveiling

First Light of Day
as Rodolphe Roger reveals the panel

C-47 Crash ŕ Négreville
New panel details he events

Jill Heisler
get the first look at panel commemorating men from her father's stick

Children's Chorus
 sang for the audience

Valuable Lessons
provided by schoolteachers

Heaps of Flowers
were left by the children

Howard Hubner
was one of the 507th veterans in attendance

All Normandy 'D-Day Plus 65' trip photos are a multi-national  mixture of work by Hervé Argoud, Hans DeBree,  Gene Garren, Fred Hoek, Herbert Lahout, Randy Lewellen,  Cyndi Mathews, Bill Nation, Dick O'Donnell, Dominique Potier, Vivian Roger, Zane Schlemmer, Donald van den Bogert and  Nelly van Loo.  Individual credits have not been given.


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