Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 18:49 UK

A soldiers story


Belfast man Bill McConnell recalls his wartime experiences.

In a special four part series to mark the start of WW II, BBC Newsline talks to four people whose lives were affected by the outbreak of hostilities.

Belfast man Bill McConnell was only 19 when he was flown into France in a glider which landed near the village of Benouville, Normandy.

He and his comrades were told that German resistance would be light, similar to that of a home guard.

But unknown to the allies a crack German tank unit had been removed from the Russian front and redeployed in the region.

As their gilders landed, or more of a "controlled crash" as Bill describes it, spirits were high as no initial resistance had been encountered. Indeed, some said: "Well if this is war, it's easy".

Later, as they formed up to take a nearby hill, they were being lured into a trap.

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