D - Day 75 (1944 - 2019)
The memory lives on! 6th June 2019 marks the start of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy and with it, a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation.
D - Day
Missions #128 & #129 – Ver-Sur-Mer, Courselles, and Caen, France, 6th June
Excerpt from the 381st BG diary:- : Minutes before the Allied troops began the invasion of Continental Europe that marked the opening of D-Day, this morning, huge forces of American heavy bombers poured hundreds of tons of bombs on enemy installations all along the invasion coast.
The bombers were escorted by equally enormous formations of Allied fighters. There were more Allied aircraft taking part in the operation today than had ever been put in the air at one time before. Under command of Lt. Col. Conway S. Hall, of N. Little Rock, Ark., 36 Flying Fortresses of the 381st Group took part in the first bombing operation of the day, timed to precede, by a few minutes, the Allied landings.
The history making-events were completely hidden from the bombers by clouds. Over the tops of the 11,000 foot solid undercast, the Fortresses flew in good weather without a challenge by the enemy, either from the air or from the ground. Formation after formation made its way to one of the various objectives and dropped its bombs. None reported flak and none saw enemy fighters.
Excerpt from the 242nd Medical Diary: 6th June – Today is D-DAY!!!!! This is the day we have all been waiting for. We were gotten out of the sack at 00.30 hrs this Tuesday, and alerted for enemy action. Everyone on the base was under arms, tense and excited. The station defence was out in force and most of us were afraid of trigger happy defence boys that we were of enemy action. Briefing was at 01.00 hrs for pilots only and the target was secret. The crews stationed in the ships and did not know the target until the engines had started.
The group put up 48 ships on two different missions, the first group hitting coastal targets from 15,000 ft by PFFF and the targets were just north of the Cherbourg area. Crews reported large numbers of invasion craft and small naval ships. No hostile action other than enemy gunfire from the coast was seen. The radio reported intense shelling of the Le Havre area and allied paratroops landing from the Seine estuary and north to the Dunkirk-Calais area.