Jun, 1944 - D-Day Before and During - 445BG

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Jun, 1944 - D-Day Before and During

Mission Summaries
Group Mission #86

FRIDAY, 2 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

The role of the heavy bombers from 2-5 Jun in preparation for the invasion of Normandy on 6 Jun includes continuation of attacks against transportation and airfield targets in N France and the institution of a series of blows against coastal defenses, mainly located in the Pas de Calais coastal area, to deceive the enemy as to the sector to be invaded (Operation COVER).

Mission 384:
In the morning, 521 of 633 B-17s and 284 of 293 B-24s hit V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France); 11 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 1 MIA.

Mission 385:
In the afternoon, 242 B-17s are dispatched to railroad targets in the Paris area; 163 hit the primaries, 49 hit Conches Airfield, 12 hit Beaumont-sur-Oise Airfield and 1 hits Caen/ Carpiquet Airfield.

77 B-24s are dispatched to Bretigny Airfield in France; 13 hit the primary target, 47 hit Creil Airfield and 14 hit Villanueva Airfield; 2 B-17s and 5 B-24s are lost, 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 90 B-17s and 37 B-24s damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 4 WIA and 68 MIA.

Mission 386:
3 of 7 P-38s hit the Ostend Bridge, Belgium without loss.

3 B-17s fly weather reconnaissance over the Atlantic.

Mission 387:
During the evening, 5 B-17s drop leaflets on targets in Belgium and France; and 18 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER operations.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
24123--92x2,000lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission #87

SATURDAY, 3 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

In Operation COVER, two missions are flown.

Mission 388-A:
219 of 238 B-17s and 120 of 124 B-24s attack coastal defenses and German airfields in the Pas de Calais (Berck-sur-Mer), France area, bombing a total of 22 targets; 21 B-17s and 24 B-24s are damaged; no casualties. Escort is provided by 91 P-38s and 129 P-47s.

Mission 388-B:
In the second raid, 97 of 102 B-17s and 98 of 104 B-24s hit 16 of the same targets hit in the morning; 2 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 102 P-38s, 34 P-47s and 83 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 P-38 is damaged; 1 airman is MIA.

During the night, 23 B-24s participate in CARPETBAGGER operations in France.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
11-11--176x500lb GP
Poor-
Group Mission #88

SUNDAY, 4 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Three mission are flown to France.

Mission 389:
the effort is to be divided between the Pas de Calais (COVER) area and the Normandy assault (NEPTUNE) area, however, D-Day is postponed 24 hrs and the NEPTUNE force is cancelled. 183 of 201 B-17s and 51 of 56 B-24s attack 7 targets in the Pas de Calais area; 10 B-17s are damaged; no casualties. Escorting are 130 P-47s and 42 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost; no casualties.

Mission 390:
222 of 246 B-17s and 53 of 68 B-24s bomb 8 coastal defense positions in the same area using PFF; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 12 B-17s and 6 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA.

Mission 391:
The third mission consists of 263 B-17s and 185 B-24s hitting airfields, railway junctions and bridges; of the B-17s, 96 hit the Massey/Palaiseau railroad bridge, 50 hit the Versailles/Metelots railroad bridge and 34 hit the Villanueva/St George railroad bridge; of the B-24s, 23 hit Bourges Airfield, 72 hit the Romarantin/Prunieres Airfield, 56 hit the Avord Airfield, 55 hit the Bretigny Airfield and 8 hit the Melun bridges; 1 B-17 and 3 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; 34 B-17s and 27 B-24s are damaged; 10 airmen are KIA and 4 WIA. Escort is 135 P-47s and 277 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; no casualties.

2 B-17s fly weather reconnaissance over the UK and the Atlantic.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
24123--1,518x120lb FB
Good-
Group Mission #89

TUESDAY, 6 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

The Eighth Air Force reaches its top strength as the 493rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) becomes operational, making a total of 40 heavy bomber groups now operational. Heavy bombers fly 4 missions in support of the Normandy invasion:

Mission 394-A:
At first light, 659 of 882 B-17s and 418 of 543 B-24s hit coastal targets in the area of the invasion beaches between Le Havre and Cherbourg (Hamel-au-Petre, France); overcast and inability of the bombers to locate (or absence of) PFF leaders causes failure of some units to attack; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 14 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged; 12 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 13 MIA.

In all, 1,729 bombers drop 3,596 tons of bombs during D-Day.

The VIII Fighter Command has the threefold mission of escorting bombers, attacking any movement toward the assault area, and protecting Allied shipping. The fighters fly 1,880 sorties including fighter-bomber attacks against 17 bridges, 10 marshalling yards, and a variety of other targets including convoy, railroad cars, siding, rail and highway junctions, tunnel, and a dam. Very little air opposition is encountered. The fighters claim 26-0-8 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 4-0-9 on the ground. Also destroyed are 21 locomotives and 2 carloads of ammunition. Numerous targets are damaged including locomotives, trucks, tank cars, armored vehicles, goods carriers, barges, and tugboats. Targets attacked with unreported results include warehouses, radar towers, barracks, troops, artillery, staff cars, 85 trains, and a variety of other targets. 25 fighters are lost.

Mission 396:
During the night, 12 B-17s drop leaflets in France and the Low Countries.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
36828--336x500lb GP
560x100lb IB
Unobserved-
Group Mission #90

TUESDAY, 6 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

The Eighth Air Force reaches its top strength as the 493rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) becomes operational, making a total of 40 heavy bomber groups now operational. Heavy bombers fly 4 missions in support of the Normandy invasion:

Mission 394-B:
The second mission strikes at transportation chokepoints in towns (Saint-Lô) immediately around the assault area; total cloud cover causes 84 B-17s and 259 B-24s dispatched to return with their bombs but 37 B-24s manage to bomb secondary target of Argentan; 2 B-24s are lost and 1 B-17 is damaged; no casualties.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
1212---192x500lb GP
Recalled-
Group Mission #91

TUESDAY, 6 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

The Eighth Air Force reaches its top strength as the 493rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) becomes operational, making a total of 40 heavy bomber groups now operational. Heavy bombers fly 4 missions in support of the Normandy invasion:

Mission 395-A:
The third mission is dispatched against the important communications center of Caen; 58 of 73 B-24s bomb through overcast skies without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
11-11--132x500lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission #92

TUESDAY, 6 JUNE 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 395-B:
Transportation chokepoints in towns immediately S and E of the assault area are the objectives of the fourth mission; 325 of 409 B-17s and 125 of 300 B-24s hit targets including Vire, Saint-Lô, Coutances, Falaise, Lisieux, Thury-Harcourt, Pont-L'Eveque, Argentan, and Conde-sur-Noireau; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 11 B-24s and 5 B-17s are damaged; 10 airmen are KIA.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
-----132x500lb GP
--
Thus ended what was to become known as the "Longest Day" - the successful assault upon the shores of Fortress Europa and the beginning of the end for the Nazi's.  Less than a year later, the world would come to know peace in Europe for the first time since 1939.  In the Pacific, the war still raged, and would do so until August, 1945.
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