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D-Day Support

The day before the invasion, heavy bombers pounded enemy coastal defenses far north of the actual beaches.  This was part of a successful trick to make the German defenders believe the landing would be in a different place.

The day before the Normandy invasion, heavy bombers pounded enemy coastal defenses far north of the actual beaches. This was part of a successful trick to make the German defenders believe the landing would be in a different place.

“I, personally, am convinced that without your air force...the invasion would not have succeeded...”

            —Generalleutnant Adolf Galland, Luftwaffe General of Fighters


By May 1944, the strategic bombing campaign had crippled the Luftwaffe’s fighter force, making the Normandy invasion possible.  In the weeks before D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Eighth Air Force hit German troop concentrations, airfields, and transportation targets.  After D-Day, Eighth Air Force bombers continued these attacks to support the Allied breakout from the Normandy beachhead.


Eighth Air Force heavy bombers destroy a Loire River bridge on June 11, 1944, to prevent enemy troops from getting to the D-Day beachhead.


Evreaux Fauville airfield knocked out of commission after an Eighth Air Force heavy bomber attack on July 4, 1944.  Repeated attacks against French airfields prevented the Luftwaffe from using them.


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Return to the B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet

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