Crash of Thomas Meehan’s Douglas C-47
The true story of the men of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne
In Band of Brothers’ episode 2, during the parachuting of the men of the 506th PIR in the early hours of June 6, 1944, it can be seen that the “66” chalk aircraft carrying one stick of the Easy Company, Thomas Meehan, hit by the shooting of the German Anti-aircraft Defense (in German “FLAK”), violently strikes the Norman soil.
Once again, this is a fact that really happened. Aircraft “66”, a Douglas C-47 , flew over the English Channel on the night of June 5-6, 1944, along with hundreds of other aircraft carrying US paratroopers from Operation Neptune.
Above the Cotentin, the German FLAK opened fire on the American squadrons: many aircraft were hit and the pilots who escaped from the curtain of fire set up by the DCA leave the planned trajectories and get lost.
The plane “chalk” 66 is unfortunately hit by the fire of the German anti-aircraft defense: it attempts a landing, but explodes against a hedge. The Easy Company pilots and paratroopers are dying on the spot.
For several hours at the beginning of operations on D-Day, the Easy evolves without its leader Meehan, missing and then declared dead after the discovery of its identification plates in the rubble of the aircraft.
This C-47 crashed near the town of Beuzeville-au-Plain, a few kilometers northeast of Sainte-Mère-Eglise. A monument has been erected at the crash site, which honors the memory of those pilots and paratroopers who died before they could even fight.