Very true,I think I've posted this before, but my brother, and most other navigators and bombardiers, did midnight requisitions of extra flak jackets and lined their compartments with them. In fact, he even sat on one. The pilots and gunners couldn't, obviously, and the highest fatality rate was among the ball turret gunners. Their chances of completing their tour alive was one in four, so, worse than the odds of drawing to a straight in poker. (At least not an inside straight.)
B-17 navigator. His wing suffered 300% casualties, IOW all total personnel numbers (not the same people, naturally) rolled over three times, as he told me. Also, "casualty" in a B-17 generally meant death, not wounding...You've probably already told me this, but was he a B-17 guy?
https://poets.org/poem/death-ball-turret-gunnerI think I've posted this before, but my brother, and most other navigators and bombardiers, did midnight requisitions of extra flak jackets and lined their compartments with them. In fact, he even sat on one. The pilots and gunners couldn't, obviously, and the highest fatality rate was among the ball turret gunners. Their chances of completing their tour alive was one in four, so, worse than the odds of drawing to a straight in poker. (At least not an inside straight.)
Interesting that the town, Caen, is in Normandy but the signs are reading "Caen Bypass North" and "Caen Bypass South" - in German...June 7, 1944: June 7th dawns with the allies securely in control of all five beach heads; even if the initial objectives have not yet been achieved. To the west of Utah and Omaha beaches, the American 82nd and 101st airborne divisions have established at least nominal control of large sections of land between Utah beach and the Merderet - Douve river. These units, having been parachuted in on June 6 in the dead of night, have suffered heavy casualties and are severely dislocated. By the morning of June 7th these units are operating at an average of one-third of their original strength. Despite this, by evening, the paratroopers are able to fully link up with the 4th U.S Infantry Division; having landed on Utah Beach at dawn, of the previous day (without major problems).
At Omaha Beach, the situation of the 1st and 29th American divisions, having landed at dawn of the previous day, is more critical. This morning, these divisions control only a small amount of territory; as such, the risk of being pushed off the beaches from German counter attack remains high. To the east, at Sword, Juno and Gold, the British and Canadians, while their landings were also difficult, are having an easier time of things. The Canadians remain in control of Anisy and Cainet, having fought off a major counter attack by the 21st Pz Division the day before. By end of day, the 6th Airborne Division have managed to take bridges on the Orne river and have linked up with elements of the British 3rd Infantry Division at Sword Beach.
British I Corps is expanding Sword and Juno beachhead and pushing toward Caen, where the German 12th SS Panzer Division counterattacks. British XXX Corps, expanding Gold beachhead, captures Bayeux and attacks Port-en-Bessin. US V Corps expands the Omaha beachhead and US VII Corps expands the Utah beachhead. US 90th and 2nd Infantry Divisions arrive in Normandy. Allied engineer units begin constructing advanced fighter air strips inland from the Normandy landing beaches.
British troops capture Bayeux, France.
The first convoy of material for Corncobs and Gooseberries arrives for constructing artificial harbors and blockships sunk at British invasion beaches to create Gooseberry breakwaters.
RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force aircraft mount major ground support operations (Roadstead, Rodeo, Rhubarb, and Ramrod) over Normandy beachheads. RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force claims 45 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at cost of 42 lost. US 8th Air Force, in first mission of the day, attacks targets in Normandy with 400 bombers. In its second mission of the day, US 8th Air Force attacks targets in Normandy with 500 bombers. US 9th Air Force conducts attacks throughout Normandy battle area with more than 600 bombers. USAAF fighters fly sweeps, escort missions, ground support, and attack missions throughout Normandy battle area, claiming 41 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at the cost of 47 lost. RAF Bomber Command sends 337 aircraft to attack transportation targets and isolate the Normandy battle area and 112 aircraft to attack German ground forces between St Lo and Bayeux overnight.
Luftwaffe aircraft attack Allied warships and shipping off Normandy overnight.
In Italy, British 8th Army pushes toward Orvieto and Terni while US 5th Army drives north and captures Civitavecchia. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive and US 15th Air Force attacks targets in northern Italy with 340 bombers.
Pictured: Americans land on Utah Beach from LCT-475, Normandy, June 7, 1944; Lance Corporal A. Burton and Lance Corporal L. Barnett of British 6th Airborne Division at a road junction near Ranville, France, June 7, 1944; note Horsa glider in background; Normandy Landing Zone 'N' littered with Horsa gliders and one Hamilcar glider (lower right), France, June 7, 1944; Vehicles of 4th County of London Yeomanry, UK 7th Armored Division moving inland from Gold Beach, Normandy, France, June 7, 1944; note Cromwell tank leading the column
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I am certain you recall that Montgomery was famously known to be pivoting on his Caen. The Brits were badly mauled by German armor with Michael Witmann savaging them at nearby Villers-Bocage. Reading the overall description of the Normandy landing belies some of the savage fighting and dying that took place in those months following the landing.Interesting that the town, Caen, is in Normandy but the signs are reading "Caen Bypass North" and "Caen Bypass South" - in German...
Monty was about as big a mixed bag as anyone ever to don a beret...I am certain you recall that Montgomery was famously known to be pivoting on his Caen. The Brits were badly mauled by German armor with Michael Witmann savaging them at nearby Villers-Bocage. Reading the overall description of the Normandy landing belies some of the savage fighting and dying that took place in those months following the landing.
Here is a paper about the Schweinfurt raids and the operational pause (Oct 43 - Feb 44) in the bombing campaign.
Thanks! I intend to read all 96 pages...Here is a paper about the Schweinfurt raids and the operational pause (Oct 43 - Feb 44) in the bombing campaign.
Grabow - SCHWEINFURT RAIDS AND THE PAUSE IN DAYLIGHT STRATEGIC BOMBING
I hope you enjoy it. I found it interesting.Thanks! I intend to read all 96 pages...
I've only read the first part and I haven't gotten to the P-38s yet. I'm a bit surprised also. Even more a Pacific plane than Mediterranean. I wonder if it picked up its nickname of "Fork-tailed Devil" there also...I hope you enjoy it. I found it interesting.
Switching from bombing Schweinfurt to bombing coal mines in Amiens was not exactly risk-free,just less risky.
I was unaware that the AAF had sent P-38s to northern Europe. I always saw the P-38 as a Pacific theater or Mediterranean plane. 150-gallon drop tanks and the deployment of the P-51B made all the difference.
The P-38 served with distinction in all theaters of operation through the war. It was responsible for primary escort duty in the early stages of the daylight bombing campaign in Europe. It was the primary fighter in the Mediterranean Theater and performed with excellent results in North Africa and the invasion of Italy. It even operated in the harsh conditions of the Alaskan Aleutian Islands against the numerically superior Japanese. However, the P-38 will be forever linked to the South Pacific. Japanese ships and aircraft were being savaged under the guns of skilled American pilots. The Japanese were never able to be on the offensive, and were usually on their heels. The P-38 routinely destroyed bombers, fighters, and ships without many losses. In fact, the average kill ratio was over 10 to 1. For every ten confirmed kills, only one P-38 was lost to all causes (this includes being shot down, lost at sea, and mechanical failures).
Love this plane. One of the more unique American designs
Its range was greater than any other fighter, even with two engines, because it had more fuel storage room. Also, it was more maneuverable, particularly to the left, because its two propellers rotated in opposite directions, in balance. In contrast, a fighter on its tail had to fight the torque of the engine to turn left...