For Easy Company paratrooper Buck Compton, the mission into occupied Normandy started off disastrously. It was his first ever combat jump and he'd lost his equipment bag on the way down, all with thousands of German bullets whizzing by.
Hours before the most ambitious amphibious invasion in history, Douglas C-47s drop a small group of American paratroopers from Easy Company, the 101st Airborne Division, behind enemy lines. The mission: to take out four German howitzers about to assault Utah Beach. Witness the moments before the D-Day invasion through the perspective of the men carrying out this daring raid, including commanding officer Lieutenant Winters, whose remarkable improvised assault against a much larger force would make history.
Watch this episode online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.