501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Plot F, Row 13, Grave 38
Pfc. Harold E. Sellers, born in 1922 in Jonesboro, Ark., was a promising athlete who excelled in football, basketball and baseball. As a feisty point guard for the Jonesboro High School Hurricanes, Sellers led the team to a state championship. Sellers’ niece, Anne Baily, recollected his wonderful laughter and happy-to-be-alive attitude which made everyone love the young man.
After Pearl Harbor, Sellers decided to give up a full football scholarship to the University of Arkansas to join the paratroopers. He could have joined the National Guard but chose the paratroopers instead to get “into the action.” Sellers entered service on March 2, 1943 in Little Rock, Ark., and, after training at Fort Bragg, was sent to England to practice for the D-Day jump. In the late afternoon of June 5, Sellers’ C-47 took off from North Witham Airfield, in Lincolnshire, England for France. His unit’s mission was to set up signal beacons that pointed to the drop zones for the main body of the airborne assault forces. Reaching the area of St. Come du Mont, Sellers and the rest of his team jumped into the darkness and were immediately hit by small arms tracer fire from the German troops on the ground. Sellers landed in a tree at a crossroads not far from the small French village but far from his intended drop zone. He was unable to free himself from his parachute while hanging just a few feet from the ground. He was killed by fire of a German MG42 machine gun position set up near the road intersection. Killed a few minutes after midnight on June 6, Sellers was one of the first Americans killed on D-Day.
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Harold E. Sellers is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot F, Row 13, Grave 38.