"Get some rest. We don't know when you're
going to get any more."
As D-Day neared, veteran pilots like Robert
approaching their 200-hour ceiling, after which they could
go home. Desperate for experienced airmen to offer support
for the ground troops, the Army extended his tour of duty,
and Powell wound up strafing German positions at Normandy
as well as anything moving along the roads -- the French
had put out the word to residents to stay home those first
few days. By war’s end, Powell had put in over 300
hours and walked away from one crash so horrible that his
buddies were sure that he was dead.