|"Day of days"|
Paratroopers throwing grenades
Normandy invasion, D-Day
As the men struggle to land in Normandy, Lieutenant Winters finds himself stranded in unknown territory with nothing but a knife and a radioman. Can Winters find his men and take Brecourt Manor?
The episode begins in the middle of the night aboard the C-47 planes. Men are sitting, tired in the planes. Sergeant Warren H. "Skip" Muck, in 1st Lt. Richard D. Winters' plane, asks a Private named Smith for a lighter for his cigarette. 2nd Lt. Lynn D. "Buck" Compton asks Sgt. Carwood Lipton if 1st Sgt. William S. Evans made it aboard the planes. "Yes sir! He's in Lt. Meehan's stick sir!" he replies.
The story then moves to 1st Lt. Thomas Meehan's plane, as he is asking Evans to help him with something. Suddenly, flashes light up the night sky, as the Germans fire their antiaircraft shells at the planes. One C-47 takes a direct hit, and is blown in half. Another shell explodes near Compton's plane, and suddenly, Private Roy W. Cobb screams that he is hit. Another shell hits the number one engine of Meehan's plane, making it catch on fire. The pilot notices, and prepares to let Meehan out, when suddenly, the engine explodes, and engulfs the plane in flames. The men are screaming in agony as they burn. The plane crashes, killing 1st Lt. Meehan, and 1st Sgt Evans. In Compton's plane, they all get out, except for Cobb, who they leave behind because he's wounded. In Winters' plane, a shell kills the co-pilot, causing the pilot to panic, and turn on the green light, so they can get out. Winters and his men get out of the plane. As Winters floats down below, he notices a burning wreckage of a plane beneath him.
Winters lands, but realizes that he's missing his weapons and his leg bag, except for his knife. Another man lands nearby. "Flash!" Winters says. "Shit." the man exclaims, as he's fumbling with his parachute. The man walks up to him and Winters says to him, while removing his parachute, "I don't think that's the correct answer Private. I say flash, you say thunder."
"Sorry sir. Thunder." The man apologises. He introduces himself as PFC. John D. Hall (his real last name was "Halls") from Able Company, and that he's a radioman, except he has lost his radio. While walking around trying to find their respective units, The young man also tells Winters that he was on the basketball team, and was coached by him.
They then find Sgt. Lipton, with two men from the 82nd Airborne Division, named Private Matt McDowell, and Private Jack Olson. Winters takes a map from Lipton, to figure out their position looking underneath a ground sheet with his flashlight.
Their objective is only a couple of miles away. They walk for a while and find PFC. Donald G. Malarkey, Sgt. William J. "Bill" Guarnere, PFC. Robert E. "Popeye" Wynn, and Cpl. Joseph D. "Joe" Toye. On their way, they hear hooves. Two German patrol wagons begin to approach them. Winters tells the men to wait for his command. Not long before Winters gives the order Guarnere disobeys and opens up with his Thompson, to get the first bit of revenge against the Germans for killing his brother.
The other men fire on the Germans too. One of the paratroopers with an M1 Garand throws a grenade, killing the horses on one patrol wagon and the rest of the Germans save one. Guarnere is still firing away. He ends up killing one horse, injures another on the other wagon before finally killing the last man.
Winters reprimands Guarnere for not waiting for his command only for Guarnere to shove him off. Toye puts the injured horse out of it's misery with a .45. Lipton and Winters take the rifles from the dead Germans. As they walk on, Halls wonders out loud, "What's that guys problem?" "Gonorrea," Malarkey answers. "Really?" Halls asks. Annoyed, Malarkey says, "His name dummy, Guarnere, Gonorrea, get it?" "Well besides having a shitty name, whats his problem?" Halls presses. Guarnere, overhearing, snarls, "None of ya fucking bussines, cowboy!". They get moving once more.
They come to a farm, ruined by bombs. They spot two dead Paratroopers hanging from trees. McDowell is a little disturbed by this. Around them are dead Germans and cows caught in the crossfire. They take any supplies they need from the dead, while Malarkey searches for a Luger for his kid brother back home saying he has firsts dibs because of such. Suddenly, they hear explosions. The beach invasions have begun. As they walk on, Malarkey explains to Halls why Guarnere is so upset explaining "His brother got it at Casino, Italy." They finally reach Sainte Mere Eglise, the objective.
On their way, they pass a group of German POWs. Malarkey taunts a German Sergeant. "Where ya from son?" As he leaves, the man answers, "Eugene, Oregon." Malarkey, surprised, turns and says, "You gotta be kiddin' me! I'm from Astoria!"
"You don't say." the guy answers. Malarkey, still excited, asks why he is in a Kraut uniform to which the man responds that his family answered the call that all Aryans should return to Germany: Volksdeutsche. Marlarkey can't believe it and begins to chat to the American born German.
In the town, Winters and the men (except Malarkey, who is still chatting), regroup with their respective units, or most of them. A few Easy Company members like Lt. Compton, PFC. Joseph T. "Joe" Liebgott, PFC. Cleveland O. Petty, Pvt. Myron Ranney are already there. Winters talks to Compton, who tells him that Meehan and 90 percent of the company are unaccounted for, making Winters the acting CO.
Malarkey is still talking with the POW, becoming quite astounded that they lived so close to each other, before being ordered to leave. On his way, he passes 1st Lt. Ronald C. Speirs, from Dog Company. Speirs stops among the POW's and hand them all cigarettes. As Malarkey is running, he hears the the sound of a Thompson being fired, and wears a blank expression, as he stares at where Speirs was handing cigarettes.
Back in Eglise, Winters is ordered by D Company Lt. John Kelley to meet Major Strayer at the CP. There, Strayer explains to Winters and the Battalion officers that four German 105s are firing on Utah beach. Winters decides to lead an attack on the artillery guns. He explains to Easy that the defenses of the four guns are a long trench system, with a couple of MG's around them, in the territory of Brecourt Manor. He orders Sgt. Lipton and to come with him bringing TNT for the guns, Pvt. Liebgott and Pvt. Petty to man a machine gun, with Pvts. Plesha and Hendrix manning another gun. He then has Sgt. Guarnere, Pvt. Malarkey, Cpl. Toye and 2nd Lt. Compton come along. Pvt. Gerald J. Lorraine, Colonel Sink's jeep driver, volunteers for the job. Pvts. Ranney and Wynn come along as well.
They then come to Brecourt. They all take positions. Finally, Liebgott and Petty open up on the Germans, with Winters providing covering fire with his M1 Garand. Lipton and Ranney head over to a tree. Lipton climbs into the tree, and snipes the Germans with his carbine, with Ranney providing covering fire. Plesha and Hendrix are firing away as well. Toye, Lorraine, and Wynn are providing covering fire. Compton, Guarnere, and Malarkey come up to one of the MG's, and each throw grenades. One German survives, but is wounded. Compton tries to shoot him, but his gun is jammed. Guarnere shoots him for him. They've captured the first gun.
Winters, Toye, and Wynn come over and join them into the trenches. As Wynn dives, a bullet hits his butt. They are all firing at the Germans running off. Compton throws a grenade, which hits a German in the head and explodes, killing him. Two more Germans are shot down. Lorraine tries hitting the last one but is unable to, Guarnere, annoyed at his aim, shoots him down with his Tommy gun. "Fucking jeep jockey." he spits at Lorraine.
Toye tries tending to Wynn, when a grenade lands near him. Winters shouts a warning, as Toye jumps on top of Wynn. Toye is unscathed. "Yer one lucky bastard Joe." Guarnere marvels. As Winters orders Guarnere, Malarkey and Lorraine to secure the gun, he runs ahead, and shoots two Germans working on an MG 42. Compton tries to help Wynn. He asks where he is hit and is surprised to hear it is his rear. Wynn apologises to Winters. After asserting he can still crawl, they heave him out of the trench to crawl to safety.
Compton tries throwing another grenade, but gets it knocked out of his hand from machine gun tracers. They quickly rush out of the trench before it explodes. The explosion knocks Toye back into the trenches. He's okay, but is dazed, and annoyed about it happening again. Guarnere calls Joe a "Lucky Bastard".
Toye, Compton, and Winters head to capture the second gun. They kill the Germans holding it, except for one, who holds up his hands in surrender, jabbering in German. "Shut the fuck up!" Toye screams at him, before punching him in the face, with brass knuckles, knocking him out cold. They've secured the second gun.
As Liebgott and Petty bring the machine gun over with Guarnere and Malarkey, Malarkey wonders if one of the dead Krauts has a Lugar. He rushes over to a dead German. He doesn't find a luger though; it was just a sight for one of the 105s. The Germans don't fire, because they think he's a medic, but begin to fire when he runs back to the trenches, no longing assisting their soldier. Malarkey makes it back. Guarnere yells at him that it was a stupid idea and they might as well had done it for him.
Lipton is tending to Wynn, as Wynn complains that he just got here. Winters and his group are joined by Captain Hester and Halls. "Hiya cowboy!" Guarnere says to him. "Shut your fuckin' guinea trap, Gonorrhea!" Halls replies. They blow up one gun with Halls' TNT and a German grenade. They then head to the next gun. Halls leaves them his TNT, while he runs back to get more. As he's running down the trenches, a mine explodes under him.
Malarkey, and Compton then capture the third gun. Winters goes down the trench that Halls went down. As he passes by, he finds the bloodied and still form of Halls. Winters trys to get his attention, but to no avail. Seemingly saddened, Winters goes to join Malarkey and Compton.
As Lipton and Ranney crawl towards Winters position, they are met by Warrant Officer Andrew Hill, who asks where Regimental HQ is. Lipton tells him, "It's back that way". Hill looks up, but is shot through the head by a bullet, killing him. Lipton joins them, yelling "TNT! TNT!", but realizes his TNT isn't needed. Speirs joins them, with five men from Dog Company, and a Fox Company trooper.
Two of his men are killed, as he captures the fourth gun, much to Winters' and Compton's disbelief. They have finally captured all four guns. Winters orders Lipton too use his TNT on the last gun, as he tells the men to fall back. Their objective is completed.
Winters narrates the story, about how the 101st Airborne was still scattered over Normandy. He then joins a group of the men that participated in the assault eating in a truck (Liebgott leaves, because Malarkey farts). There, he takes a long pull from a wine bottle, the first ever. He tells Guarnere that he is commanding officer now. Guarnere smiles, Winters having earned his respect.
Outside, Winters watches as Bombers fly and bomb the town of Carentan. Winter's narrates the story as he vows that if he survives, he would find a quiet place to live in peace.