Box 024, folder 40: Percival Liggins

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In D. Day Book 1st CAN Bn Liggins, Percival Release Releases with PG. Box 24, #40

Last edit about 3 years ago by Alice Jennett
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[inserted] 1st Can Para Bn Canadian AB Possible EXCERPT 1ST Can/3rd Brig [end of inserted]

THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 5, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? PERCIVAL LIGGINS

What was your squadron, station, unit? 1st CANADIAN PARACHUTE BATTALION

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? NEAR THE VILLAGE OF VARAVILLE AROUND MIDNIGHT OR SO OF 5th of JUNE

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? PRIVATE

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 25

Were you married at that time? NO

What is your wife's name? NA

Did you have any children at that time? NA

What do you do now? PARA RESCUE JUMPER PARA RESCUE TEAM 102 CYR TRENTON ONT. When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? APPROXIMATELY 3 WEEKS PRIOR TO "D" DAY

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? THE TRIP ACROSS THE CHANNEL WAS PRETTY QUIET EVERYONE I iMAGiNE, CONTEMPLATING THE FUTURE. ONE SET SUGGESTED PRAYING - MY BUDDY TURNED TO ME & ASKED iF I WERE GOiNG TO PRAY. I SAID "MOONEY I HAVE A PARACHUTE ON MY BACK, iF THAT FAiLS I MAY CALL ON THE OLD FELLOW BESiDES THE DEViL LOOKS AFTER HIS OWN"

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossing? (Some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in). THE RUMOR I RECALL WAS THAT THE JERRY'S WERE WAiTING FOR US. LATER, SPEAKING TO A GERMAN OFFiCER, HE ASKED WHY WE DiD NOT ARRIVE IN NORMANDY & SUNDAY JUNE 4?

Last edit about 3 years ago by Alice Jennett
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Your name Percival Liggins

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? Include any impressions from it. I TRiED BUT KEPT RECALLiNG BiTS I HAD FORGOTTEN TO ADD & FiNALLY GAVE iT UP.

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during landing or during the day? NO

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties?: NO

Were you wounded? NO

Do you remember what it was like—that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were so surprised that you felt nothing? NA

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time? [inserted] CONTINUED ON PAGE I [end of inserted] I DO RECALL BEiNG #13 iN THE A/C. IN THE BRiTiSH SYSTEM OF HOOK UP iN DAKOTAS, THE STATiC LiNE OF THE PERSON OPPOSiTE HOOKED BEHIND YOU & VICE VERSA. THIS CAUSED THE STATIC LINES TO BE ALL SNARLED UP IN THE DOOR & NEAR THE FLOOR. I HAD DIFFICULTY GETTING FITTED WITH MY PARACHUTE & LEFT MY MAE WEST BEHIND. WHEN IT CAME MY TURN TO LEAVE THE PLANE, I CAUGHT MY FOOT IN THE STATIC LINS AT THE DOOR & WENT OUT HEAD FIRST. [inserted] continued Page II[end of inserted]

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? I RECALL THE BRITISH BRIGADIER HAVING A SOCCER BALL WITH A CARICATURE OF HITLER ON IT. ON REACHING FRANCE HE KICKED IT OUT THE DOOR.

Did you encounter any enemy aircraft or flak? Was your aircraft damaged? AS SOON AS WE HiT THE FRENCH COAST WE ENCOUNTERED FLAK. WE TURNED AWAY THEN ON NEARING THE DZ WE MET WiTH FLAK AGAIN BUT WENT DOWN INTO IT & BAILED OUT. IT FELT AS THOUGH THE A/C WAS BEING HiT BUT, iN TiMES LiKE THAT THiNGS SEEM DiFFERENT

Last edit about 3 years ago by Alice Jennett
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Your name Percival Liggins

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either from D-Day? I RECALL ON LANDING ONE OF OUR LADS HUNG UP ON AN ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION TOWER ONE OF THE BOYS TRIED TO REACH HIM BUT COULDN'T. STRETCHING AS FAR AS HE OULD HE THOUGHT OF EXTENDING HIS ARM & STEN GUN FOR THE JUMPER TO GRAB ONTO. AS IT WAS HE STILL HAS HIS FINGER ON THE TRIGGER & ALMOST SHOT THE FELLOW. HE WAS FINALLY RESCUED THOUGH.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? LE MESNIL

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? LE MESNIL

Do you know of anybody else who landed within the 24 hours of D-Day, June 6, as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations, whom we should write to? CPL E.C. DAViES RCAF STN. GREENWOOD GREENWOOD N.S.

PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE BOOK. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR STORY ON SEPARATE SHEETS IF WE HAVE NOT LEFT SUFFICIENT ROOM. FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE THEY ARE NOW;" YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

W.M. Lee Squadron Leader Director of Public Relations (Air) Air Force Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario.

Last edit about 3 years ago by Alice Jennett
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PAGE I As I left the A/C I lost my rifle when I had slung over my head & one shoulder. My chute no sooner opened than I landed into a large tree I went thru the branches & landed on my butt on the ground. In the mean time more troops & gliders were landing. On trying to release my harness, I found that a 2 inch mortar I was carrying under the harness straps was caught & I couldn't get the mortar from under my harness & a machine gun (whose I don't know) was peppering my parachute behind me. Hearing voices coming toward me I was apprehensive as I couldn't make out whether it was English or German. As I said, I had lost my rifle & was practically helpless as far as weapons went. My grenades & so on were caught under a jump smoch which in turn was caught by my harness straps & mortar. Needless to say it voices were English & they helped get me out of my parachute After these other lads (from another A/C) had aided me in getting loose we set off in what we thougth was the proper destination. About a distance of 300 yds or so I banged into my rifle hanging in a tree which hit me in the nose -

Last edit about 3 years ago by Alice Jennett
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