DescriptionMISSION #131, Caen, June 6, 1944.
Preview of this Group's participation in the Allied invasion of Germany's Western Front?the coast of France, was such special orders from the 45th Combat Wing as: "Guns will be manned but not test-fired at any time." "Gunners will not fire at any airplane at any time unless being attacked. Bombing on primary targets will be carried out within time limits prescribed. Otherwise secondary or last resort targets will be bombed. No second runs will be made on the primary target. Take-offs will be accomplished according to schedule?regardless".
All available heavy bombers of the 8th Air Force were dispatched in waves to attack coastal defenses between Le Havre and Cherbourg in France. The attacks were in direct support of the Allied Invasion Forces which landed immediately after the bombing of the beach area was completed.
The 388th furnished an A and a B Group plus the low squadron of the 452nd C Group. Our A and B Groups were the first and second wave respectively, and the composite Group (452nd) was the eighth and last wave. The 388th "A" Group led the 8th AAF D-Day attacks.
16 A/C plus 2 PFF A/C of the A Group were airborne by 0227 hours. 17 A/C plus 1 PFF A/C were airborne by 0248 hours. The 6 A/C for the composite Group were off by 0254 hours. One a/c from A Group aborted for mechanical reasons. Some difficulty was encountered in forming due to darkness and because the "Buncher" went out.
The targets were attacked by PFF methods because of a complete undercast. Bombing was done by groups with squadrons line abreast. With Lt. Col. Chet Cox in the lead aircraft, they were the first to drop bombs in support of the invasion. Bombs were away at 0656 hours from 15,050 feet for A Group, and 0703 hours from 13,850 feet from the B Group. The Composite Group did not attack and returned with bombs.
No enemy a/c or flak was seen on this mission. All of our a/c returned to base by 1043 hours.
From The 388th At War by Ed Huntzinger