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More About Brigadier General Pratt
Brigadier General Pratt served as the Adjutant of the 15th Infantry Regiment in Tientsin, China, then served as an instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA for the next four years. In early 1941, he became Chief of Staff of the 43rd Infantry Division. Realizing that airborne would be of importance in the war, in mid-1942, he became the Deputy Commander of the newly created 101st Airborne Division, completing airborne training at Fort Benning, GA. The division was sent to Britain for the pending invasion of Normandy. Pratt was selected to land in Normandy in an AG-4A glider, with his jeep and three other men: Lieutenant Colonel Michael "Mike" C. Murphy, Second Lieutenant John M. Butler, and First Lieutenant John L. May.
Coming down at Landing Zone Easy at about 4:00 am, near the town of Hiesville, France and 10 miles inland from Utah Beach, the overloaded and off-balance glider skidded over 700 feet down the clearing into a tree lined hedgerow, killing 2nd Lt Butler and BG Pratt, and severely injuring Lt Col Murphy. Only 1st Lt May survived without injury. Accounts of Pratt's death differ, with some accounts claiming he was crushed when the overloaded jeep broke loose from its restraints and slammed forward. Another account claimed that the violence of smashing into the trees snapped his neck. Pratt was initially buried in a French pasture, then reburied in the Normandy American Cemetery. In July 1948, his body was exhumed and reburied in Arlington National Cemetery where it remains today.