Box 024, folder 42: Edward T. Little

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LITTLE, Edward T. Canadian 1 Can. Parachute 6 Brit. Airborne Box 24, #42

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[inserted] 1 Can / 3rd Brig Excerpt [end of inserted]

For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-day

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? EDWARD THOMAS LITTLE

What was your unit and division? 1 CANADIAN PARACHUTE BATTALION BRITISH 6 AIRBORNE DIVISION

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? APPROX AT 0130 HRS ON 6 JUN 44 [crossed out] at [end of crossed out] NEAR RANVILLE What was your rank on June 6, 1944? LANCE CORPORAL

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 21

Were you married at that time? No

What is your wife's name? NORA MARGARET LITTLE

Did you have any children at that time? No

What do you do now? STILL SERVING EFFECTIVE OCT 58 CSM 56 CDN TPT COY HNEF MIDDLE EAST.

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? I think we always knew we would be in on the invasion. Definitely when we were paid French invasion money and saw the air photos.

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? Channel crossing was uneventful, rather noisy and no lights were allowed. We smoked and conversation was limited to man next to you. We passed over part of the seaborne force off the coast of England.

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). We hoped the Germans would think our air armada was a large bomber force. Since I was no 1 in my aircraft I released bombs shortly after the coast of France was reached.

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- for Cornelius Ryan 2Your name E.T. LiTTLE

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? No

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during landing or during the day? Yes

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties: I did not rejoin 1 Cdn Para Bn until approx 1330 hrs on 7 Jun 44.

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? There was a great deal of excitment and had I been wounded I would have been surprised no end.

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time? On the red warning light in the aircraft I was to throw 2 bicycles out. They became caught in a large floormat of the plane and jammed in the door. The dispatcher and the two parachutists behind me were standing on the mat and someone at the rear thought I was not going to jump beause the green light had come on and the door was still blocked. The dispatcher and I finally got the mat pulled up and I [?threw?] it, the bikes and myself out

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? No

of the aircraft. The remainder of the stick were widely separated and ran into trouble on the ground. It was many days before any of those people were seen. I had a large kit bag strapped to my leg and hampered by equipment and a parachute I was trying to lift the floor mat when someone said "push him out of the way and let's go." That he (over)

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didn't know of cause was that the door was blocked. This seems quite funny now but at the time I was insulted to think that someone thought I had lost my courage. When I arrived on the ground I realized I was alone. I hid my parachute in a bush and put on my radio and equipment and eventually reached 6 AB Div HQ. still quite angry at whoever had spoken. I never found out who it was.

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- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name E.T. LITTLE

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? Ten Gale was taking me over to artillery RHQ and there were quite a [crossed out] [illegible][end crossed out] number of air burst shells coming in. Each time one came near everyone but the Gen hit the dirt. He stopped by one slit trench right after a nearly explosion and calmly asked if the people inside were quite comfortable He had on a pink coat, riding pants and boots, his red beret and carried a riding crop. He gave the impression that the shells wouldn't dare hit him and since I was with him the feeling rubbed off on me also.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? We emplaned approx 2230 hrs 5 Jun 44

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? 6 AB Div HQ attached to ARTY RHQ.

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? Ex Sgt WW JWDD Sunnybrooke Miliatry Hospital Toronto. Ex Capt Henry c/c Sunnybrooke Mil Hosp

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.A. Milroy Lt.-Col. Director of Public Relations(Army) Cartier Square, Ottawa, Ontario

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