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70th Anniversary of D-Day

From Frank Carrozza’s mission log;

Mission 3: June 6, 1944- 6:30 A.M. D – DAY

TARGET: BEACH
LOCATED:
CHERBOURG PENINSULA NEAR MAUGER
BOMB LOAD: 16 – 250LB
DAMAGE: NONE
FLAK:LIGHT – (TRACERS)

Click for Map

http://shopwornangel.imaginarynumber.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/USAAF-344BG-D-Day-1-mission-box-formation-grouping-June-6-1944-0A.jpg

D-Day 1st Mission Formation Diagram

Remarks: “That day we were escorted by M.P.’s to the mission briefing. There was no way they were going to let details of the up coming D-Day invasion to leak out.”

“Colonel Vance started the meeting…’All right men, this is it. We are going out at all costs! We have painted stripes on all of our aircraft for identification. If you see a plane without them, shoot it down!’”

“The mission was to to bomb the beach in advance of the landing craft. Perhaps we might knock out some pill boxes or machine gun installations, but mostly the craters we created would serve as foxholes for the troops.”

“On the way I saw so many boats on the English Channel that it seemed that you could walk to Normandy!” “That day the clouds were very low. Normally that would cause a mission to be scrubbed. We were directed to go in at all costs and so flew under the clouds and were much closer to the ground than expected.” “Over our intercom someone on the crew yelled, ‘Hey they’re shooting at us from the ground (not flak…machine guns!)!’

“Pilot, Lt. Lyons answered, ‘What are you waiting for? Shoot back!.’ “We shot back at the source of the tracer bullets coming from their machine guns.”

Here is a diagram of the flight formation. Notice that dad and Captain Lt. Lyon did not fly the Y5*J (Shopworn Angel). Find him on the very bottom in 6266. I have no other info about that plane.

Historian Paul Clouting says, “Regarding the information you sent on your father’s missions on D-Day, here is what I do have.

Carrozza flew two missions on D-Day. On the first mission, he was flying in a/c 6266, which is listed as a  “flying spare.” This aircraft would have been a reserve in case of any technical failures from aircraft scheduled, and would have taken the slot of any aircraft which may have encountered a technical problem. Usually if there were no problems the spare aircraft would have turned back before encountering enemy territory. I’m not sure if this would have been the case on D-Day missions. The mission reports should tell you if this was the case. The actual aircraft itself is a bit of a puzzle though. The only aircraft serial which fits 6266 is 42-96266, but this aircraft is showing as being assigned to the 322nd BG from July 1944. It is possible that it could have been drafted into service with the 344th BG before being formally assigned to the 344th BG, but that will need confirmation. The pilot though is almost certainly 1st Lt. Jack L Lyons, who was assigned to the 495th BS.

Mission 4: June 6, 1944- D – DAY 2ND MISSION

TARGET: MARSHALLING YARDS (train depot)
LOCATED: AMIENS
BOMB LOAD: 8 – 500LB.
DAMAGE: NONE
FLAK: VERY HEAVY AND ACCURATE (TRACERS) 45 SOLID MINUTES OF CONTINUOUS FLAK

Click for Map

Click for Photo

D-Day Second Mission Formation Diagram

Paul Clouting: On the  second D-Day mission, your dad was flying in aircraft Y5-C. This aircraft would have been serial 42-95898, named “Merry Jerry” (*42-95898  Merry Jerry  Y5-C  also captained by Capt. Edward P Foote & Lt. N W Nelson), and was most probably flown by the same pilot (Lyons). This particular aircraft force landed in France on 27th August 1944.

Two nice links regarding the commanders that day

Lt. Col. Norgaard (written by wife)

Col. Witty

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