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Back to Mission 15 Mission 16 Sunday, 4 June 44 Avord Forward to Mission 17
Mission 16
Bad weather had given the Group another day off. However, improved conditions on the afternoon of June 4th allowed the Group to make another raid for Operation Cover, the Calais deception. The 492nd was ordered to strike the airfield in Avord, south of Paris. The Group had been there before. This mission was to insure that the Luftwaffe wouldn't be able to use it against the Normandy assault forces.
Of the 37 planes dispatched by the 492nd, only 31 were able to proceed to target. One of the planes crashed after takeoff resulting in the loss of the Sachtleben Crew 607 and two firefighters who had responded to the call.
The Group was led by Major Mahoney, the squadron commander for the 859th, flying with the Johnson Crew 903.
Fighter Protection
The Group had plenty of escort fighters. Although the Luftwaffe had been cleared out in general terms, there were a handful left and more could always come back. One of the escorts during the afternoon did shoot down an enemy fighter.
Enemy Resistance
With a route passing near Paris, the Group got hit with flak both to and from the target. One of the ships returned with damages beyond repair, but no bombers were directly lost to enemy action.
The afternoon weather in central France was good. The bombardiers had no trouble identifying and hitting their targets.
Returning Home
Going to and from France gave the crews another look down at the Channel. The activity there had grown enormously in two days. What they thought was impressive two days ago, was nothing compared to what they saw now. It was clear to the crews that the big day, D-Day, was coming soon.
Although the sad loss of the Sachtleben Crew 607 was felt throughout the base, the crews knew that it was just a matter of time before one of them would crash during assembly. By now every crew had experienced at least one near-miss. As good as the planning was, there were just too many planes concentrated in a small air space for mishaps to be avoided. Particularly in English weather. What happened to the Sachtleben Crew could have happened to anybody, and they knew that evey time they went up.
Bad weather gave the Group the following day off. The activity observed in the Channel was strong enough to create small betting pools and lotteries gambling on just which day would be D-Day. But because of the weather, very few thought that it would be as soon as their next mission's briefing.
Mission Data
Mission: 16
Date: 4 Jun 44
City: Avord, France
Target: Airfield
Bomb Load
Tons: 87
Type: n/a
Result: n/a
Enemy Action
Flak: Moderate
to Heavy
GAF: 0
Counter Action
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
A look at the history and
importance of Avord
Story of 2 firemen
killed in the
Sachtleben crash
O'Sullivan Crew 713
Graham/Powers Crew 614
June 4th Memorial
Sachtleben Crew 607
Aircraft lost with
Sachtleben Crew
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Page last modified Thursday, May 11, 2017.