Like so many World War II veterans, the sense of loyalty, commitment, honor and brotherhood will always be ingrained in their minds. Some live out their lives by enjoying the freedoms they have defended, while others live a life of giving.
This is no different for Everette Andrews, a 92-year-old World War II and Korean War veteran, and a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is getting ready to donate a G-1 cargo parachute he has been holding on to since World War II.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Andrews said he was at Camp Mackall, N.C. attending the Army’s Airborne School. Upon completing the school he was off to war.
“I was a Normandy replacement,” said Andrews. “I ended up in a little town by the name of Savy near Bastogne.”
Over the next few days Andrews said he got the call to go get the supply drops that were about to happen.
“I was there when the first flight came through,” said Andrews. “ It was quite a sight to see 200-plus planes dropping supplies.”
He also said that the pilots had a daring flight pattern they had to follow before dropping the ammunition on Savy.
“They came from the east, then they dropped to drop altitude,” said Andrews. “They flew straight through a German flak belt. Some planes blew up over the drop zone, while other ones had engines that were on fire.”
As the bundles were dropping from the aircraft, Andrews said he had to hide underneath a deuce and a half Army truck.
“Some of the bundles were breaking when they left the aircraft. I didn’t want to get hit by the debris,” explained Andrews.
“There were three different drops that day and I was there for all three,” he said.
Andrews collected three different parachutes during the operation. There was a yellow, light blue, and red parachute that meant different types of supplies were being dropped.
In December 1945, Andrews said he went back to the house in Savy where he stayed before the drop and gave the light blue chute to the farmer and his four daughters.
“The mother ended up making dresses from the chute,” said Andrews. “I went back to that house again and they still have samples of that material.”
In the 1950’s Andrews said he still had the yellow and red parachutes but felt that he needed to donate the yellow one to the 101st Airborne Division Museum and that’s exactly what he said he did.
For nearly seven decades, Andrews has held on to the red parachute hoping that one day he would be able to come to terms that it needed to be donated to the Bastogne Museum.
“I hate to see it go. It should be donated, and in Bastogne,” he said.
Andrews has been looking for someone to help him repack the chute properly before it gets donated. This was in preparation to have it dropped a final time over Savy before it comes to its final resting place in the museum.