The early landings, at about 0140 directly on the town,
resulted in heavy casualties for the paratroopers.
Some buildings in town were on fire that night, and they
illuminated the sky, making easy targets of the descending men.
Some were sucked into the fire. Many hanging from trees and
utility poles were shot before they could cut loose.
A famous incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the
505th PIR, whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church,
and could only observe the fighting going on below. He escaped capture
by feigning death until the town was taken the next day.