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D-Day Support

“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.

Related Fact Sheets


The Memphis Belle: American Icon and 25th Mission

Memphis Belle Crew

The “Memphis Belle” and Nose Art

26th Mission: War Bond Tour

Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress”

Heavy Bomber “Firsts”

Combat Aircraft to Museum Artifact

Crippling the Nazi War Machine: USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe

Enabling Technologies

Key Leaders

Early Operations (1942 to mid-1943) - Eighth Air Force in England

Ninth/Twelfth Air Forces in the Mediterranean

Combat Box/Communication and Life at 25K

Keeping them Flying: Mechanics and Armorers

Combined Bomber Offensive: Summer 1943 to Victory

Bigger Raids, Bigger Losses, and Crisis

Deadly Skies over Europe (Luftwaffe defense)

Bomber Crew Protection

Operation Tidalwave (Ploesti, 1 Aug 43)

Regensburg/Schweinfurt (17 Aug 43)

Black Thursday/Schweinfurt (14 Oct 43)

Fifteenth Air Force (created Sep 43)


Women’s Army Corps

Fighter Escort: Little Friends

Big Week (20-25 Feb 44)

Target Berlin

Operation Frantic: Shuttle Raids to the Soviet Union

Blind Bombing

D-Day Support

Strategic Bombing Victorious




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