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Back to Mission 16 Mission 17 Tuesday, 6 June 44 Pointe-et-Raz Forward to Mission 18
Mission 17
The daily briefing began with an announcement that D-Day had already begun. The 492nd would put up whatever it could to support the invading assault forces at Normandy. Col Snavely would take personal command of the mission flying with the Orthman Crew 806. The Group was assigned to bomb a target in the Pointe-et-Raz area on the Normandy coast. The timing was set for first light as the beach stormers were coming to shore. The Group took off at 0247 in the morning.
The 492nd dispatched 41 of its planes only to have two of them abort for mechanical reasons. That might have been all of the planes that could have been sent up. The Group hadn't received all of its replacement planes. They still had some damaged planes in the shop waiting for parts. Plus, earlier the Group had been ordered to exchange some of their brand new B-24Js for half worn out B-24Hs from other groups. Not only did these battle worn H models require more maintenance than the new Js, but the ground crew chiefs didn't have a ready supply of H parts.
Fighter Protection
The Group had plenty of escort fighters, as every fighter was put into the air.
Enemy Resistance
None. Absolutely no flak nor enemy fighters were encountered. The crews had only to worry about mid-air collisions. The Sachtleben crash was still fresh in their minds and nobody had ever seen this many planes in the air before.
The overcast skies made it extremely difficult to see the target. However, of the 39 credited sorties, 30 were able to put their bombs on target. The other 9 were forced to dump their bombs inland.
Returning Home
The entire mission was very quick. Most of the airmen got another look at the massive invasion armada hitting the beaches.
Later, some of the officers would recall that their biggest fear that day was that they might accidently drop their bombs on their own boys below. The mission briefing didn't show them the whole picture. Even if it had there would be no time to remember it all. They just knew their boys were down there close to the target and they wouldn't have to be off by much to hit them.
It was exciting for the crews to know that they had an active part in D-Day. The crews would say that the D-Day missions were the easiest ones of the war. They felt their deep drives into Germany had earned them the right to have these easy ones. Truth is, these missions were easy because of the times they had gone into Germany.
Mission Data
Mission: 17
Date: 6 Jun 44
City: Pointe-et-Raz, France
Target: Tactical
Bomb Load
Tons: 86
Type: n/a
Result: n/a
Enemy Action
Flak: None
GAF: 0
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Prytulak Crew 907
O'Sullivan Crew 713
Graham/Powers Crew 614
Prytulak Crew 907
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