384

2 June 1944

Official Description

Role of Bombers from 2-5 June in preparation for invasion of Normandy on 6 June includes continuation of attacks against transportation and Airfield Targets in Northern France and the institution of a series of blows against coastal defenses, mainly located in Pas de Calais coastal area, to deceive the enemy as to the sector to be invaded (Operation COVER). In the first mission on 2 Jun, 776 Heavy Bombers attack targets at Boulogne-sur-Mer, Wimereux, Equihen-Plage, Hardelot Plage, Neufchatel, Dannes, Plage-Sainte-Cecile, Stella- Plage, Breck-sur-Mer, and Saint-Aubin. Opposition is confined to anti-aircraft fire and is generally ineffective.

Description

Operations on this day were specified for D minus 3 by the Overall Air Plan as modified by Headquarters A.E.A.F. All objectives were located in the Pas de Calais (Fortitude) area, the attacks having as their purpose deception of the enemy as to the actual assault area (Cover Plan). It was provided that in these operations immediately preceding D-Day only one-half of the available heavy bombers were to be employed in order to conserve the force an all-out assault in direct support of the troop landings.

The weather forecast for the Pas de Calais area indicated 8/10-10/10 stratocumulus with bases 800-1500 feet and tops 7000-9000 feet.

In view of predicted cloud conditions, plans were made to employ through the overcast bombing technique in this operation which would utilize approximately one-half of the available heavy bombers.

Mission Details

Pas De Calais Area

Description: At the time of the operation, the D-Day invasion was due to take place in 3 days time on 5 June 1944. The plan was for Heavy Bombers to carry out an attack on airfields, transport and V Weapons sites in the Pas De Calais area to create the impression that this was the actual assault area. Only half of the available heavy bomber force were sent on the mission to ensure the maximum possible force remained available for the assault/

Notes: The route for the bombers was designed to avoid large numbers of units attacking a number of relatively small area at the same time, but also to prevent anti-aircraft fire. The force was divided into three to accomplish this. 457th BG - MISSION NO. 57 - HARDELOT, FRANCE 2 JUNE, 1944 The final pre-invasion aerial assault was under way. The target was a coastal gun position consisting of six 155mm field artillery guns situated on the beach front equidistant between Boulogne and Le Touquet. Similarly, other gun batteries up and down the French Coast were attacked by other units of the Eighth Air Force. Eighteen aircraft attacked the target without Wing assembly. Bombing results were unobserved due to heavy cloud cover. The Group encountered no flak or fighter opposition. Major George A. Beere was Air Commander and Lt. Russell M. Selwyn was pilot.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2506.5
  • People killed in action: 1
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • People missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 926
  • Aircraft effective: 805
  • Aircraft damaged: 11

PAS-DE-CALAIS (Primary)

Description: V-1 MISSILE SITES

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 489th Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group. 491st Bomb Group not with this element.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 884.10

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36215923 / O-692248
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 571st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 331st Bomb Squadron 65th General Hospital
  • Service Numbers: 55619
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier, Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-813458
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date24 Jan 2019 11:40:05
ContributorEmily
Sources

Eighth Air Force After Action Report for 2 June 1944, Operation No 384, Field Order 709

Date24 Jan 2019 11:37:12
ContributorEmily
Sources

Air Force Combat Chronology

Date24 Jan 2017 01:17:56
Contributorcmckeever
Sources

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date23 Jan 2017 21:53:37
Contributorcmckeever
Sources

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date27 May 2015 10:36:05
Sources

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:06
ContributorAAM
Sources

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'.