After the clear channel flight, the skies had clouded over Normandy. Pilots carrying Hinchliff's unit, the 507th Regiment of the 82nd, had to take evasive action to avoid running into other planes, they landed some twenty miles from their target and found themselves surrounded by (or immersed in) deep marshes. Many paratroopers drowned when they tumbled into the flooded area, and the rest were widely scattered. They had a few 81-mm mortars, five .30-calibre machine guns and their personal weapons and were short on food. But the paratroopers of the 507th PIR found allies in the townspeople of the nearby village of Graignes. Unfortunately, the French were not the only ones to note their arrival, and they were soon surrounded by SS troops. At great risk to themselves, the villagers at Graignes hid the paratroopers, fed them, and help find and retrieve their heavy weapons and ammunition. After digging in around the village, about 180 paratroopers repelled several regimental assaults on their position by panzer grenadiers trying to break through to Carentan. The Para's also blew up a vital bridge to further halt the SS advance. On D-Day plus five, a Sunday, Hinchliff and some of his men went to 10 a.m. mass at the local Catholic church. The familiar Latin liturgy was interrupted by a French woman who warned that Germans were coming. They came in regimental strength, 2,000 to 3,000 men trying to break through at Graignes. "We butchered 'em, and they hit us again - same thing," Hinchliff said. More than 1,200 Germans were killed that day. The SS regrouped and returned, this time they were more organised. The battle went on through the night and, with the Para's now taking heavy casualties, the survivors retreated from the village, scattered back into the marshes, and eventually took refuge in the barn of the Girault sisters, who fed and cared for the twenty one survivors. The SS extracted a brutal revenge on the wounded, left behind with the medical officer in the local church. In total more than 30 Para's & villagers died at the hands of the SS. Shot in the back of their heads whilst digging their own graves or lined up and shot. They didn't give up their lives in vain, though, because in halting the SS, they unwittingly assisted in the taking of Carentan by the 101st.