SSgt. Kenneth Crosthwait, 304th Squadron, 442nd Troop Carrier Group, 9th Air Force, European Theater - birdshooter

82nd Airborne members check their equipment before boarding a 442nd Troop Carrier Group C-47 bound for Drop Zone "T" near St. Mere Eglise in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The 442nd Troop Carrier Group launched 45 C-47s with approximately 20 soldiers in each aircraft. The 442nd TCG was the World War II predecessor of the 442nd Fighter Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command A-10 Thunderbolt II unit based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (Photo courtesy of the Herky Barbour estate)