Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
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; 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 Villeneuve 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.
3 of 7 P-38s hit the Ostend Bridge, Belgium without loss.
3 B-17s fly weather reconnaissance over the Atlantic. During the evening, 5 B-17s drop leaflets on targets in Belgium and France; and 18 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER operations.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
303BG Mission Report - Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards at Juvisy, France. Crews Dispatched: 14 (358BS - 1, 359th - 2, 360th - 1, 427th - 6). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 15 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 x 1,000 lb G.P. M-44 bombs. Bombing Altitude: 18,700 ft. Ammo Fired: 250 rounds.
This was another double-header mission that started "Operation Cover" – a campaign to convince the enemy that the invasion would be in the Pas de Calais area.
Weather over the target was 4/10 to 8/10 cloud cover with poor visibility. The target was approximately 11 miles south of Paris. The secondary target was the Coulommiers, France airfield and the last resort, the Cormellies-En-Vexin, France airfield. The original instructions designating marshalling yards as targets of opportunities were rescinded. New instructions designated the only targets of opportunity as airdromes in enemy-occupied territory not adjacent to a built-up area.
Bombing was done visually from 18,700 feet and 72 1,000-lb. G.P. M-44 bombs were dropped. The altitude had to be changed on the bomb run because of prop wash. Crews reported the target as "knocked out."
As in the morning mission, no enemy aircraft were observed, although friendly fighters cruised around the area in a fruitless effort to flush any German aircraft. Anti- aircraft fire was spotted at several points, but it was moderate and inaccurate. All aircraft returned with no damage and no casualties.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
303BG Mission Report - Target: Gun Emplacements at Dannes, France. Crews Dispatched: 22 (358BS - 7, 359th - 7, 360th - 8, 427th - 0). Length of Mission: 4 hours, 5 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 X 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 19,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.
The 8th Air Force attacked "No Ball" targets — 64 visual and 49 by GH. This was the first mission flown by the 303rd BG(H) that the 41st CBW classified as a "Tactical Mission." Abbreviated methods of reporting and interrogation were installed to cover this type of mission in order to quicken mission data to higher headquarters.
Weather over the target was 10/10 clouds with tops at 10,000 ft. Bombing was done by PFF from 19,000 feet. Two-hundred twenty-eight 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs were dropped. No enemy aircraft were seen and no flak was encountered. Chaff had no effect. Friendly fighter support was good. There were no casualties and all aircraft returned to Molesworth.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - In the first of two missions for the 388th on this day, the 388th furnished 19 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c for the A Group and 13 a/c plus 1 PFF a/c for the B Group. The 96th BG furnished the a/c for the high squadron of the B Group.
All of our a/c were airborne by 0915 hours and formations were effected without difficulty. The lead PEE a/c aborted for mechanical reasons and the deputy lead took over in the A Group.
The briefed route was followed to the target with bombing being done on the PFF a/c. Bombs were away at 1209 hours from 25,300 feet.
No enemy fighters were seen and very little flak.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1356 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
388BG Mission Report - For the second mission of the day, the 388th furnished 14 a /c as the low Group in the 45th Combat Wing formation. Our 14 a/c were airborne by 1654 hours with 1 a/c aborting for mechanical reasons. No difficulty was encountered in forming and the briefed route to the target was followed. Our target which was the railroad intersection at Acheres was attacked visually with excellent results.
No enemy fighters were seen on this mission. Moderate accurate flak was encountered at the target with meager flak at LaHarve and Rouen. T/Sgt. Keough, radio operator on Little's crew was killed by flak and Lt. Nadolin and Sgt. Burdis were wounded by flak. Lt. Soldato in a/c #662 "Worry Bird", was seriously wounded by flak and this a/c made an emergency landing at Fainborough. Lt. Soldato died on June 8, 1944.
All but one of our a/c returned to base by 2250 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The target was a four gun battery at Equihen, France. The 613th furnished four aircraft in the High Squadron of the High Box of the 94th Combat Bomb Wing. Lt. Col. Brown led the High Box. Weather over the Target was 10/10 undercast. Bombing was by PFF and results were undetermined. Crews: Fox, Kuta, Fitchett, Connolly.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Equihen, France was the first target for the month on June 2nd. This mission was the second of a series of attacks on coastal installations (gun batteries and other fortifications) which could seriously hinder any invasion effort in that direction if not knocked out. The bombing was by PFF methods through a 10/10 undercast with no bombing results observed. Due to trouble experienced by the Group Leader in reaching the Assembly Point Capt. Johnson had to form the Group and all commended his leadership and initiative. Enemy opposition was nil although the crews observed some inaccurate flak from the vicinity of Abbeville. All the crews returned safely.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 21 crews were briefed at 0700 hrs for a tactical target in France, a four-gun battery at Equihen. The Group Air Commander was Lt. Col. E.W. Brown. The weather ship took off at 0927 hrs and a few minutes later two 613th ships collided on the perimeter track. Due to a solid overcast the bombing was carried out by PFF and was therefore unobserved. No enemy air opposition was encountered and flak was observed but not encountered. 615th Squadron which flew as the Low Squadron in the Box. The 615th loading list was as follows: Neill, Mann, Post, Gillespie, Christensen, Lozinski.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - An early mission into France was planned but later scrubbed. A second target was substituded, a defended locality and medium battery located at Burch-Sur-Mer, France. 28 of the Group's ships including 6 PFFs of the 66th and 8 from the 67th, took off at 0800. Bombing was accomplished by the PFF method, lead and deputy lead being Capt's. Armstrong and Grow of the 66th. Two other PFFs each flew with the 392nd BG and the 492nd BG. Merlimont Plage was hit by two squadrons of the Group with excellent results while St. Aubin was hit by a third squadron but with poor results. Our planes returned at 1430 hours, many with flak damage. 16 67th aircraft are in commission for tomorrow Sgt. Kipnes adds, "Take-off at 0815 in Glory Bee. Target was invasion beach directly across the Channel and right on the beach of France. Targets were coastal guns, pill boxes and defense personnel. We flew lead crew again of the low section. After the Group assembled and before leaving for the coast of France, we did a complete tour of England. I don't know what the reason was, but for a mission requiring such a short flying distance, we spent over five hours in the air. Landed 1330 hours. A barrack's chief meeting was held in preparation for the forthcoming inspection by General Hodges.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Noball target; Beauvoir, France
The target was bombed through heavy cloud cover. There was no flak.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0630 hours and the target was an installation of heavy guns a mile inland and four miles north of Boulogne, France. Planes were loaded with 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0910 hours. A bad weather assembly was made and Wing assembly was difficult. The weather started to clear over London as our bombing altitude of 21,000 feet was reached. PFF failed to pick up the target until it was too late to make the bomb run. All of the bombers bombed in the Pas de Calais, most hitting Noball targets. Landing started at 1314 hours with no losses.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 1430 hours and the targets were railroad bridges in the Paris area. The aircraft were loaded with 500 pound GP bombs with take off starting at 1700 hours. The bombing altitude of 21,700 feet was reached as the Group approached the French coast. The weather was not clear and the assigned target could not be seen so it was decided to strike the secondary target. This was the air field at Conches 65 miles west of Paris. Bombs away was at 2109 with "Poor" results. Landing started at 2300 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
source: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Boulogne, France was bombed. results unobserved. Six ships taking part. All returned safely to base.
In the afternoon, another target in France, Massy/Palaiseau, was successfully bombed. This date is significant for the squadron; it being the first day on which two operational missions were flown. All returned safely.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Target for this mission was 3 x 150 MM coastal gun emplacements about 2 1/2 miles S.E. of Boulogne. Bombing was done on PFF A/C leading formation with unobserved results due to 10/10 undercast. No casualties or damage were sustained by this squadron.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Primary target for this mission was a fly-over of two railway tracks in the south suburbs of Paris. Due to haze and consequent poor visibility in target area, the airfield at Beaumont-Sur-Oise was attacked as a last resort target, with good results. The 322nd Squadron sustained no casualties or damage.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Massy: Our Squadron provided 4 A/C and crews for this mission. BOMBING RESULTS: A target of opportunity, Beaumont Suroiseald, ENEMY AIRCRAFT: Nil. FIGHTER SUPPORT: As briefed. FLAK: Meager at coast, moderate, inaccurate at Paris.
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75522). Organization: 310FRS / 27ATG of Snailwell, Suffolk. Pilot: Estrada, Herman J. Notes: ground looped. Location: Burtonwood, Lancashire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-7929). Organization: 551FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire. Pilot: White, George O. Notes: killed in bail out. Location: Walford Manor England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-12255). Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire. Pilot: Jolly, William D. Notes: killed while bailing out due to structural failure. Location: Spilsby England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C (#42-103036). Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire. Pilot: Olson, Paul E. Notes: landing accident. Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Mission "8th AF 384, 385" V-weapons sites, airfields and rail targets in France June 02, 1944
Notes: Operation COVER: deceiving the enemy into thinking the invasion would be in Pas de Calais
Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Enemy Aircraft X-P-D
Enemy Aircraft (on gnd) X-P-D
USAAF Aircraft X-E-D
USAAF Personnel KIA-WIA-MIA
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