I hit the ground just like they taught us and immediately go to work separating from the parachute. Echoes of machine gun fire and distant explosions rattle my nerves.I hope to God they dropped us in the right place. Scanning my surroundings, nothing looks familiar.
Waist-high grass provides me with enough cover as long as I remain crouched. I wish I hadn’t lost my equipment satchel during the jump; all I have is my combat knife.
Although it is dark, I see a tree line not too far from my location and bolt for it. Running, while trying to remain as low as I can, I fully expect machine gun fire to open up on me but thankfully it doesn’t.
As soon as I’m in the cover of the tree line, I get down on one knee and try to get my bearings as well as my breath.
Through thick branches on the other side, I see lights.
Edging closer, I see that it is a small German outpost. A small descending trench system leads into a wider dugout with a camouflage canopy over top. Voices are murmuring to one another and I think there are at least two German soldiers in there. I bet I could…
“What are you doing here?” a man asks in German.
I slowly turn my head and make out the distinctive black uniform of an SS officer.