Seventy years ago today, the 95th flew three missions to strike coastal defenses and communications in support of D-Day landings.
The day before, the group finished the last of several tactical missions in anticipation of Operation Overlord’s commencement. The 95th continued to interrupt its strategic operations when needed to facilitate the advance of ground troops in the coming months.
Our thoughts this day turn necessarily to the invasion forces on the ground. Nonetheless, we remain ever mindful of the role our men in the air played in support of those troops. We keep in mind also that combat missions were each D-Day’s in themselves. Albert A. Forrester, a 412th navigator who flew during the landings, captured that sentiment well. In an undated story for the BGMF, Albert recalled:
“On D-Day our target was a choke point in the town of Falise, France. On our way over, we had a tremendous view of our invasion forces. There were so many vessels it looked like you could walk from England to France without stepping in the water. I know that the men who were on the beaches will say that I know nothing about D-Day. They are right. I am thankful that my view was from five miles above. On the other hand, every mission we flew was a D-Day for us. There was a solid overcast at the target, so we took our bombs home with us. When our target was in an occupied country, we did not drop our bombs unless the target was visible. I believe we brought bomb loads back seven times. Landing with a full bomb load makes everyone a little nervous.”
Whether on the ground or in the air, life wasn’t easy for our boys. We must never forget what they did for us all those decades ago.
Below are some staff reports of the tactical missions in support of the D-Day operation.
Courtesy of the 95thBG Missions Twitter Feed
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