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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.


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

1. Pas De Calais Area


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/

Aircraft type

Not yet known


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.


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.


  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 2506.5
Number of aircraft Sent 926
Number of aircraft Effective 805
Number of aircraft Damaged 11
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Missing In Action 1

2. PAS-DE-CALAIS (Primary)



Aircraft type

Not yet known


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.


  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 884.10



  • Marvin Abraham

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 20 x combat mission. McCord crew. Munich mission 16-Jul-44, A/C hit by flak causing a failure of the oxygen system to the nose compartment, died of anoxia along with bombardier Irwin Dobrow. Killed in Action (KIA) ...

  • Robert Allison

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Flew 26 missions on 'Mission Bell', was wounded on 26th mission. Purple Heart, 4 Air Medals

  • William Ameen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group

  • Don Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier, Navigator | 401st Bomb Group

  • Jack Atherton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and crashed at Gruenewald on 6/21/44 in B-17 #42-31496 Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Richard Autry

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 51

  • Donald Awalt

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and crashed at Gruenewald on 6/21/44 in B-17 42-31496. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Robert Baldi

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Tail Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 51

  • James Bates

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Charles Beckham

    Military | Sergeant | Ball turret gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Assigned to 384th Bomb Group on 16 May 1944, completed 16 Missions with 384th Bomb Group before transferring to 305th Bomb Group on 26 June 1944.

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  • 42-31496 Salvo Sadie

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    Delivered Cheyenne 12/11/43; Kearney 27/11/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-Q] Deenethorpe 1/2/44; Missing in Action Berlin 21/6/44 with Jack Atherton, Co-pilot: Don Awalt, Navigator: Dick Fitzmaurice, Bombardier: John Whelan, Flight engineer/top turret...

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    Note : The B-17G, 42-31892, was one of several B-17Gs in the 8th Air Force named, I'll Be Around, after the popular song in 1944, "I'll Be Around". WWII air crews often chose to name their airplanes with names already in use. ...

  • 42-38013 "NEVADA AVENGER"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
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  • 42-39993 'Hells Angels Out Of Chute 13', 'Grossly Inadequate'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
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Date Contributor Update
24 January 2019 11:40:05 Emily Changes to description

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

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2019 11:37:12 Emily Changes to official description and description

Air Force Combat Chronology

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2017 01:17:56 cmckeever Changes to description

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2017 21:53:37 cmckeever Changes to person associations

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date Contributor Update
27 May 2015 10:36:05 general ira snapsorter Changes to event

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:06 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'.