Harnett County native General William C. Lee earned the title of â€œFather of the Airborne,â€ for his pioneer work in developing the Army's paratrooper program. Having seen paratroopers in foreign countries, General Lee worked hard during the 1930s and 1940s to convince the U.S. military to develop a fighting paratrooper program. He was successful. On the night of June 5, 1944, 10,000 paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions parachuted into France at the start of the Normandy Invasion. General Lee was not among them, having suffered a heart attack in April, but as each trooper jumped, he shouted, \"Bill Lee!\"