Drafted, Training, D-Day and Injury

Postwar and Reflections


Raymond Eugene Overcash was born in Lanett, Alabama in 1923. He was drafted in 1943. He did his basic training in Little Rock, Arkansas. He joined the Airborne and took his jump training at Fort Benning [Annotator's Note: Columbus, Georgia] and did maneuvers in Tennessee. He recalled an accident with a guy jumping during training wh got caught up in his parachute and died the next day. Overcash was sent to Camp Mackall in North Carolina from where he was shipped out to England on 1 January 1944. He got seasick on the trip over. He remembered that the ride was bumpy, and the ship was full. When he arrived in England, he joined up with F Company, 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division [Annotator's Note: 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division] which was overseen by General Taylor [Annotator's Notes: US Army General Maxwell D. Taylor]. He remembered the General to be a nice guy. Overcash was assigned to use flame throwers, but never used one. When he parachuted into France, his parachute got hit and he fell 400 feet to the ground in a cow pasture and broke his back and both ankles. Medics came and brought him to a barn, and he stayed there several days until he was transferred back to a hospital in England. He recalled while he was waiting in the barn, a few Germans came in, but treated him well. He stayed in England for over eight months and then he was shipped back to the United States where he was discharged. He met a guy older than him at the hospital and they became friends. To keep himself occupied, Overcash pulled a lot of pranks while at the hospitals. He mixed condiments in coffee, put cracker crumbs in people's bed, and shortened their bed sheets.


[Annotator's Note: Raymond Eugene Overcash served in the Army as a paratrooper in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. While parachuting into Normandy during the D-Day invasion, he was seriously injured and was sent back to the United States and discharged.] Raymond Eugene Overcash returned to the United States on the Queen Elizabeth. He eventually returned to Alabama and stayed in a hospital near his hometown. After World War 2, Overcash got a job tucking rugs and then moved up to handling the production of the plant. He eventually went into the dairy business. When Overcash was waiting in England, he wrote to his girlfriend and told her that he would be in combat soon, but he used code words that she understood. He recalled that after he fell from the sky and he was waiting on help, a German soldier was trying to shoot at him. When help finally came, one of the soldiers went and stabbed the German to death. Overcash explained while he was in England, they would practice a lot of shooting and jumping. They would also march a lot. He would take trips to London for a few days and some of the locals were nice, while other were bothered by the American soldiers. He also remembered that two days before he had to jump into France, his commander made everyone go to church. He explained that while he was waiting in a barn after being wounded, a German came in, but treated him well. When he got on the ship to take him to England, the captain came to see him and told him there was no doctor on the ship, but he sent soup to Overcash. Overcash lost 30 pounds by the time he reached the hospital in England. Overcash thinks he is a lucky man.

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