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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

The Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF) directs air attacks against congested points to delay movement of more enemy forces into the assault area. In the first mission (Mission 397) in the morning, 182 B-17s and 291 B-24s, including 20 PFFs, are dispatched; of the B-17s, 58 hit Conde sur Noireau, 60 hit Flers, and 54 hit Falaise; of the B-24s, 66 hit Argentan, 19 hit Vascoeuil, 61 hit Laigle and 83 hit Lisieux; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 17 B-17s are damaged; 8 airmen are KIA and 3 WIA.

In the second mission (Mission 398) in the afternoon, 487 B-17s and 88 B-24s are dispatched; the primary targets for the B-17s are Nantes (190 bomb) and the Kerlin/Bastard Airfield (132 bomb); 23 B-17s hit Niort and 40 hit the Nantes Bridge; the primary target for the B-24s is Tours/La Roche (12 bomb) and 13 hit Pouance, 13 hit Blain, 13 hit Chateaubriand, 25 hit Laval Airfield, 12 hit Vitre and 3 hit Tours; 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 are lost, 1 B-17 and 7 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 78 B-17s and 96 B-24s are damaged; 21 airmen are KIA, 12 WIA and 12 MIA. Heavy cloud prevents almost 100 others from bombing targets.

VIII Fighter Command furnishes area support for beachhead areas in the early morning and to heavy bomber operations at midday and in the late afternoon, at the same time maintaining harassment of communications and flying shipping patrol. 526 P-38s and 294 P-51s patrol the beachhead and provide escort in N France; they claim 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 0-0-2 on the ground; 8 P-51s are lost; 1 airman is KIA and 7 MIA. 505 P-47s and 148 P-51s engage in general strafing over N France and claim 29-1-12 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 25-0-12 on the ground; 10 P-47s and 4 P-51s are lost and 3 P-51s are damaged beyond repair; 1 airman is KIA and 12 MIA.

Mission 399: 10 B-17s drop leaflets over The Netherlands, France and Belgium.

14 B-24s participate in CARPETBAGGER operations in France.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,