Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy,
the operation that launched the invasion of Wehrmacht occupied
western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation
commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation
Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 12,000 plane airborne
assault preceded an amphibious assault involving almost 7,000
vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel
on 6 June 1944 more than three million troops were in France
by the end of August.
Eighth Air Force. Eighth reaches its top strength as 493d
Bomber Group (H) becomes operational, making a total of 40
heavy bomber groups now operational. Heavy bombers fly 4 missions
in support of the invasion of Normandy. 1,361 heavy bombers
are dispatched on first mission of the day. 1,015 of the heavy
bombers attack the beach installations, 47 bomb transportation
choke points in town of Caen, and 21 bomb alternate targets.
Overcast and inability of heavy bombers to locate (or absence
of) Pathfinder leaders causes failure of some units to attack.
The second mission strikes at transportation choke points
in towns immediately around the assault area. Total cloud
cover causes most of the 528 heavy bombers dispatched to return
with their bombs but 37 bombers manage to bomb secondary target
of Argentan. The third mission is dispatched against the important
command centre of Caen. 56 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers bomb
through overcast skies. Transportation choke points in towns
immediately South and East of assault area are the objectives
of the fourth mission for the Eighth. 553 heavy bombers bomb
targets including Vire, Saint-Lo, Coutances, Falaise, Lisieux,
Thury-Harcourt, Pont-l'Eveque, Argentan, and Conde-sur-Noireau.
In all, 1,729 heavy bombers of Eighth Air Force drop 3,596
tons of bombs during D-Day, suffering only 3 losses (to ground
fire and a collision). VIII Fighter Command has threefold
mission of escorting heavy bombers, attacking any movement
toward 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 28 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed
and 14 damaged. Also destroyed are 21 locomotives and two
carloads of ammunition. Numerous targets are damaged including
locomotives, trucks, tank cars, armoured 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
VIII Fighter Command aircraft are lost.
Ninth Air Force. More than 800 United States Army Air Force
(USAAF) A-20 Havoc light bombers and B-26 Marauder medium
bombers bomb coastal defence batteries, rail and road junctions
and bridges, and marshalling yards in support of the invasion
forces landing in Normandy. Over 2,000 fighters fly sweeps,
escort for medium bombers and troop carriers, ground support,
and dive-bombing missions over West France. During the preceding
fight and during the day over 1,400 C-47 Skytrain transport
aircraft, C-53 Skytrooper transport aircraft, and gliders
deliver glider troops and paratroops, including 3 full airborne
divisions, which are to secure beach exits to facilitate inland
movement of seaborne assault troops. A total of about 30 aeroplanes
medium bombers, (fighters and transports) are lost.
Twelfth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) medium
bombers, light bombers, fighter-bombers, and fighters all
hit command lines North of Rome to slow enemy retreat. Bridges,
road junctions, rail lines, roads, and motor transport are
continually attacked throughout the day, as British Eighth
Army forces West of Tiber reach Civita Castellana and United
States Fifth Army forces push North and West toward Viterbo
Fifteenth Air Force. Shuttle bombing (FRANTIC) continues as
104 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and 42 P-51 Mustang
fighter-bombers (having flown to USSR from Italy on 2
) attack airfields at Galati and return to Soviet
shuttle bases. 8 enemy fighters are shot down and 2 P-51 Mustang
fighter-bombers are lost. 570 other heavy bombers, with fighters
escorts, bomb oil refineries in Ploesti area, marshalling
yards at Brasov and Pitesti, Brasov wagon and armament works,
Turnu Severin canal, and marshalling yard at Belgrade.
Tenth Air Force. 24 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25
Mitchell medium bombers attack Waingmaw, Wuntho Hopin area,
and Imphal Tiddim road. Others maintain ammunition lift into
Imphal. 24 A-36 Apache dive bomber, 11 P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers,
and 45 P-40 fighters pound Myitkyina. About 40 A-36 Apache
dive bomber and P-40 fighters hit Mogaung, Mohnyin, Lachigahtawng,
Pakhren, Sakan, and Kadu areas.
Fourteenth Air Force. 50 United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
P-40 fighters attack shipping, horses, and troops in Fulinpu
Kweiyi vicinity, 10 P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers and 6 B-25
Mitchell medium bombers pound Tayang Chiang, and 5 B-25 Mitchell
medium bombers bomb Pailochi airfield. 9 P-40 fighters hit
road and rail targets in Yellow River area. 2 others sink
a junk and damage others at Kwangchow Wan.
Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24
Liberator heavy bombers and B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb
shipping near Efman and Waigeo Islands. A-20 Havoc light bombers
hit airfields at Babo, and A-20 Havoc light bombers and B-25
Mitchell medium bombers hit Namber airfield and tanks near
Mokmer. P-39 fighters, A-20 Havoc light bombers, and Royal
Australian Air Force (RAAF) aeroplanes continue to pound Wewak
Hansa Bay area, hitting supply dumps and hideouts. B-24 Liberator
heavy bombers hit islands in Truk Atoll.
Thirteenth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
P-38 Lightning fighters bomb supply dump near Nordup. P-39
fighters and Navy aircraft hit vehicles near Hari. Other P-39
fighters pound pier and buildings in Southeast Kahili.
Seventh Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24
Liberator heavy bombers returning to Eniwetok from Los Negros
(where they rearmed after bombing Guam the previous day) hit
Sunk 6 June 1944
Go To: 7th
The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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