In the conversation that accompanies Not In Detroit’s D-Day invasion stripes post, I got the following reply that I wanted to share. It’s a neat story by Mr.Atkins about the commenter’s father, who flew a P-47 on D-Day.
Acording to my father, who was there, the US air forces had three rings of fighter protection over the beaches.
Directly over the beach were P-38’s. The reason was that no other fighter aircraft looked like the Lightning
The next circle were P-47’s, and the last were P-51’s
My father was with the 82nd Fighter Squadron (P47’s) and was directed to stay the hell away from the beaches or he would be shot at. Well, he was a contrary SOB, and, on his way back to Duxford, flew over the invasion. He had to see it. He had been there for two years.
To make a long story short, he was fired on by a US cruiser. He said that he thought the ship blew up, it exploded with gunfire from bow to stern. Fortunately, he had far more experience dodging the best Triple-A in the world, so he was able to easily roll out of the target area. The cruiser’s lookouts were able to get his identification letters, so, when he landed, he got his butt reamed. He did say that it was worth it. It looked as if there was literally a bridge of ships from England to France
Photo by Richard Seaman