'Down to Earth' Strafing Aces of the Eighth Air Force by William N Hess, Chris Davey

By William N Hess, Chris Davey

'Like The lengthy succeed in, right down to Earth is a message from the conflict at its peak, advised of their personal phrases by way of the boys who struggle' - this can be how Brig-Gen Francis Griswold, VIII Fighter Command, ends his creation to this publication. His reputable endorsement unearths simply how very important a record all the way down to Earth used to be to the educating of tyro fighter pilots heading for motion within the ETO. extra major aces have been misplaced to flak when floor strafing than to German opponents. during this publication William Hess has integrated biographies of all of the pilots that initially contributed to this paintings again in 1943-44.

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V), a fact which may have influenced later landing chances . Owing to the loss of equipment, only one of the gaps could be marked, and this diminished their value under high-water conditions. Their first effort 43 cases the water was neck deep . Under fire as they came within a quarter-mile of the shore, the infantry met their worst experiences of the day and suffered their heaviest casualties just after touchdown. Smallarms fire, mortars, and artillery concentrated on the landing area, but the worst hazard was produced by converging fires from automatic weapons .

Just how much had been accomplished by the preliminary bombardment can only be li The o nl> ruction from enem )' cO~lIal batteries c:'irnt tarlier. and from nlt.. ard; at 05~7 gun. ", to the destroyer l:mm onJ ~nd brackCH:d the Ari""Hu. o\n5wcring fir~ including 20 rounda of 12ยท inch and 110 rou nds of 5-inch shells, promptly silenced the enemy gun l , but mc><" co untcrbatt u), wor k had to he done o n this a rea latcr in the mo rning. determined later from enemy sources. Many gun positions and strongpoints certainly survi ved the early fire.

The plan called for landing each assault unit in a relatively small, defined area where it had a specific task to perform in reducing enemy defenses, opening gaps in obstacles, or clearing a section of the flat. Quick success on the beach was dependent on carrying out a large number of such small tasks, which were often correlated to lead to some major result such as the opening of an exit. 39 MIST AND Sl\lOKE OBSCURED LANDl\IARKS even as latc as 0730, when tht support BL T's wert landing . This Coast Guard photograph shows LC f/ P's,jrom the transport Samuel Chase, landing troops of the 1st BLT, 16th I nfan try on their aSJigned beach sector, Eas y Red.

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