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EMMERT 'JESS' ORVAL PARMLEY 1923-
Emmert Orval, John Reed, John, Richard, Ephraim, Giles, Hiel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John

This photo was taken during his service in World War II.

He was a 20-year-old paratrooper who jumped into the dark French countryside the night before the D-day invasion and recalled watching with fascination as German tracer rounds rose into the night sky, searching for their planes. "I remember how those tracers kept going off around us. There was orange, white and blue rounds going through the air. It was kind of pretty. ... For the first few days, I thought it was a total disaster. Nothing went according to plan. There was a lot of confusion. At one point, I found myself in a bomb crater with a lieutenant colonel. It was just us two. He didn't know where he was and was scared to death, too. And here I was waiting for him to tell me what to do."

Seven days after the invasion, he suffered a gunshot wound to the neck.

At 90 he was not up for the 2014 invasion commemoration in Normandy, but he did mark the 50th anniversary by jumping out of an airplane over France.

Photo No.: 01-3567