101st Airborne Paratrooper

"3 Purple Hearts, 2 stints in uniform, 1 headfirst landing"
by Dennis Wagner, USA Today

Even when you're 90 years old, some memories from your teenage years stand out with clarity.

Daniel McBride recalls going to a Conneaut, Ohio, movie theater in 1942 with his date and seeing her excitement over a newsreel showing U.S. soldiers jumping out of airplanes.

"I was scared to death of heights," McBride says, "but I thought, 'If they can do it, there's no reason I can't.' So I enlisted in the Army and signed up to be a paratrooper."

Skip ahead to June 1944, in a night sky over Normandy illuminated by Nazi anti-aircraft fire. McBride's parachute lines got tangled with his leg, and he floated to earth upside down, landing on his head.

"It knocked me out," he says. "When I came to, everything hurt, even my hair."

McBride, a sniper and rifle grenadier with the 101st Airborne Division's 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, wandered in search of friendly forces until bullets began to fly and he saw a German duck behind bushes" . . . read the rest of Dan's story here.