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Parachute Infantry

An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich

introduction by Stephen E. Ambrose

262 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 10 halftones

World War II

  Hardcover / 9780807119013 / April 1994

Spanning the invasion of Normandy through the final collapse of the Third Reich, Parachute Infantry describes with honesty the ordeals David Kenyon Webster faced with his fellow soldiers—men he never would have associated with in civilian life but with whom he developed the strongest bonds possible.

Webster wrote Parachute Infantry a short time after his stint as a paratrooper in World War II, relying on his letters home and recollections he penned right after his discharge, making his memoir much closer to the war than most such works. With its abundant dialogue, charged descriptions of places and events, and deft evocation of emotions, Webster's narrative resonates with the immediacy of a gripping novel.

The Saturday Evening Post published a portion of Webster’s memoir, but book publishers rejected his manuscript, seeking sensationalized novels of the war rather than authentic memoirs. Stephen E. Ambrose brought the memoir to the LSU Press in the early 1990s for publication and used it as a substantial resource for his own unit history, Band of Brothers, which later became the basis for the HBO miniseries of the same name. 

David Kenyon Webster worked as a reporter and writer after the war. He died in a boating accident, in 1961, while shark fishing. Webster is portrayed by the actor Eion Bailey in the HBO miniseries.

Stephen E. Ambrose (1936-2002), was Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and author of many biographies and histories, including D-day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II and Upton and the Army.

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