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8th Air Force Field Order 371

6 June 1944

Official description

Not yet known


D-Day. Start of Operation Overlord.

Mission details




Aircraft type

Not yet known


All 8th Air Force Fighter Groups and IX Fighter Command Fighter Groups take part. VIII Fighter command fulfils a threefold mission of escorting the bombers, attacking any German movement towards the beaches and protecting the vast fleet of ships laying just off the coast. The fighters fly a total of 1,880 sorties including fighter-bomber attacks on 17 bridges, 10 marshalling yards and a wide variety of other targets. Very little fighter opposition is encountered as the Luftwaffe has been almost annihilated in France. However the fighters do claim 26 destroyed and 8 damaged Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and another 4 destroyed and 9 damaged on the ground. The fighters also destroy 21 locomotives and 2 carloads of ammunition. 25 fighters are lost from a total of 555 P-38s, 414 P-47s and 750 P-51s.

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Missing In Action 25
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 14
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Missing In Action 24



  • Harold Beck

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Harold Beck served as a pilot with the 78th Fighter Group at Duxford, flying 76 missions. ...

  • James Burr

    Military | First Lieutenant | MOS 1055: Fighter Pilot, Single Engine | 352nd Fighter Group
    By Terry L. Page (Nephew) ...

  • Merle Capp

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Lt Merle R. Capp was destined to join the list of high-scoring pilots of the 78th FG with a tally of 2 air and 2.5 ground 'kills'. The youngest of three sons of a Colonel in the regular Army he was currently attending the University of Carolina when he...

  • Louis Dicks

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Louis Dicks entered service from Ohio and served as a pilot with the 78th Fighter Group. He was Killed in Action (KIA) on 10 August 1944 when he crashed at Bouy in P-47 (serial number 42-26333). DFC, AM with 3 Oak Leaf Cluster, PH

  • Kal Gladstone

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 496th Fighter Training Group
    Kal Gladstone served as a pilot with the 78th Fighter Group.

  • William Guilfoyle

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Harold Brown crew. Reported to group on 17 Jul 1944. Completed 35 missions. Completed tour on 15 Jan 1945. AM/ PH/ DFC

  • Lynn Hosford

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 78th Fighter Group

  • James Kinsolving

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    74 missions, flew 3 missions on D Day. On third flight on D Day, his plane was the only one of his group of four that came back DFC, Air Medal

  • George Lundigan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    1 July 1944 his P47(probably #42-8505 'Smilin Jack') was assigned targets of tanks and barges between Soissons and Reims, France. AC received severe battle damage and Lundigan was injured during combat with enemy fighters. RTD

  • William Newton

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 5 July 1944 in P-47D AC 42-26583 while on escort mission to Chateauroux, FR. Bounced by 6 ME109s at 12000 ft, at 1600hrs, with other ME109s joing in. Crashed close to Breteuil at 1557hrs (per German records). ...

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Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:14 AAM AAM ingest

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.