RAF Snetterton Heath

RAF Snetterton Heath

RAF Snetterton Heath was home to the 96th Bomb Group (Heavy) and was closest to USAAF 3rd Division HQ so many flights originated from here carrying commanding generals. General Curtis LeMay flew from here on the Regensburg raid, and later received the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for the action. The 96th Bomb Group led the 3rd Division in the Schweinfurt raid, as well as bombing Axis industrial targets throughout Europe. Today the airfield is home to the Snetterton Racing Circuit.
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period C-47’s over RAF Fulbeck

C-47’s over RAF Fulbeck

RAF Fulbeck was part of the 9th Air Force and primarily flew the C-47/C-53 Skytrain aircraft for airborne troops. During the War it was used by both the RAF and the USAAF, most notably the 434th and 442nd Troop Carrier Groups. The 442nd took part in D-Day operations.
Later the 440th Troop Carrier Group arrived to take part in Operation Market Garden in September 1944. After the failure of the operation, Allied hopes for wrapping up the war by Christmas, 1944, were dashed. The IX Troop Carrier Command returned the airfield to the RAF in late September 1944.
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RAF Metfield

RAF Metfield with B-24

RAF Metfield was in the 8th Air Force, and was the home of both a fighter group and bombers. The 353rd Fighter Group flew P-47D’s, but they moved out just prior to D-Day. Then came the 491st Bombardment Group, equipped with B-24’s. The group was unusual in that their ground equipment was collected from other units. The 491st Bomb Group bomb dump exploded in July, 1944, when 1,200 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs mysteriously detonated and created a large crater still visible on the landscape today. At one time the lake was filled with all manner of WW2-era junk.
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Above Omaha Beach

Above Omaha Beach at Longues-sur-Mer

On the morning of June 6, 1944, the small road along the cliffs was a hive of activity with trucks racing to resupply the defenders. With US and Allied troops scaling the cliffs and naval guns targeting the area, the defenders were defeated.
The Allies were able to secure a foothold in France. My cousin co-piloted a B-17 outfitted for the invasion with machine guns, lots of ammo, and no bombs. If it had a swastika on it, Mike and his buddies shot it full of holes. Their hit list contained cars and trucks, tanks, trains, troops, aircraft, fortifications, armor, field artillery, and anything which looked ‘good’.
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The Solent

Lifting off from the Solent

RNAS Lee-on-the-Solent was a seaplane base tasked with protecting shipping along the south coast and into the Southampton Water. The base has been operational since 1917. In the period between the wars, it became a training base teaching pilots to fly Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers like those which sank the Bismarck. The base was an operational part of the Fleet Air Arm.
Today it contains the Hovercraft Museum at Daedalus, including the speed record holder across the Channel. Princess Anne made the trip in 22 minutes in 1995, and now sits next to its sister ship Princess Margaret.
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250,000 If by Sea

Approach from the Sea, Les Braves Monument at Omaha Beach

This monument at Omaha Beach is a stainless steel sculpture about the action of D-Day on June 6, 1944.
In a play on the tale of Paul Revere’s storied ride in 1775, this time we came by land, air and sea and clobbered the enemy. Yes, D-Day was brutal and difficult with a considerable loss of life, but the Allies were victorious and freed the populace from oppression. And while I am sorry so many died, they did not give their lives in vain.
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Entrance, US Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

Entrance for US Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

The original cemetery was close to here, but it was moved to this site after the war to be closer to Omaha Beach. It honors those who died in World War II and contains 9,386 World War II veterans and one from World War I. Compared to neighboring cemeteries of La Cambe and others it is relatively small.
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Strongpoint at Asnelles

Strongpoint at Gold Beach Asnelles

This hardened strongpoint was used to fire on invaders at the waterline. Behind it are a series of buried bunkers for command and control units which sit under a garden. British troops landed here and during the course of D-Day, many of the houses here were damaged or destroyed. The western end of the mulberry harbor was here
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