Airborne Operations over Normandy on the night of 5-6 June, 1944.
In 1940, less than 45 days after the formation of a test platoon, the first Army paratroopers jumped into history as the first Americans to parachute from an aircraft in flight. By the end of 1941, two combat units, the 501st and 502d battalions, along with the first glider battalion, were organized and activated. Growing from a new idea to a capability which delivered powerful formations behind enemy lines, the parachute and glider carried American troops to combat in Algeria, Italy, France, Holland, Germany and the Philippines during World War II.
In On the Night Before, C-47 Skytrain military transport aircraft from the 440th Troop Carrier Group insert units of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment into Normandy, France on the evening of 5-6 June, 1944. The nose art and tail number of the lead aircraft (tail # 292717) are historically accurate and depict the actual markings of the aircraft used by Mr. Martin’s battalion commander and staff for the Normandy invasion. The nose art of the lead aircraft details a man wearing a top hat with coat tails pointing to the name of the aircraft “STOY HORA,” which translates to “I am here for you right now.” These powerful words embody the commitment and trust between air and ground forces that endures today. This painting commemorates the 75th anniversary of the American paratrooper and is dedicated to the bravery of those who volunteered to take that leap of faith.