The night before D-Day, Lt. Walter “Chris” Heisler, a member of the 507 Parachute Infantry, 82nd Division, ordered his men to jump into the night sky over Normandy, France. The plane, hit by German machine gun fire, scattered the surviving paratroopers over 250 miles. After three days Heisler was captured, interrogated, and sent to OFLAG 64 prison camp in Schubin, Poland. Now 92, the retired education professor was unable to make his annual journey to Normandy. Instead French Consulate Francois Gauthier of Boston came to URI to present the WWII soldier with the French Foreign Legion of Honor medal, France’s highest award for soldiers, 65 years after the invasion.
Photo by Michael Salerno.