Gayle L. Smith
Group Operations Officer
This single engine practice provided training that would permit the crews to cope with having to fly formation with the loss of one engine from battle damage.
This flak map, of the French coastline and limited interior area, reflects the more permanent installation that we tried to avoid, or that we had to penetrate on the missions. Crew members on debriefing after each mission would continue to verify these, as well as identifying other enemy defenses.
This provides the same information in the Netherlands. Some of the most intense flak would be located around German airfields in the Netherlands and France. A majority of our missions, for the first three months, were directed at the airfields to disrupt the German air capability, and hopefully destroy a lot of their fighters in the meantime. Missile sights on the French coast were also protected with the same intensity.
This was one of the lesser damaging crash landings.
They are really awaiting their aircraft to return from a mission. These aircraft were their pride and joy. It was their baby and they treated it accordingly.
This photo is the follow on Commanders to Col. Storrie. Col. Caldwell, far right, took command from Col. Storrie. [Col. Caldwell was shot down on April 12, 1944, while leading the group against a missile site/coastal defense site at Dunkirk.] Col. Seymour, left, became Commander, but lost his life in a B-26 crash near Chipping Ongar on July 17, 1944. Col. Brown, center, became Commander through VE Day, May 7, 1945.
This is our D-Day (June 6, '44) formation against coastal defenses in the invasion area. Then Major Joe Whitfield, the 557th Squadron Commander, was Group Leader; then Major Glen Grau, the 556th Squadron Commander, was the 2nd Box Leader, and then Capt. Bernard Thompson, 559th Squadron, a frequent Box Leader was the 3rd Box Leader.