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Part of the invasion coast at Normandy. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Part of the invasion coast at Normandy. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The first Allied amphibious troops hit the beaches of Normandy at 6:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944. Constant air cover was flown over the vast sea armada and the assault beaches, and only three Luftwaffe airplanes were sighted the first day. For the next several weeks while the Allies strengthened and consolidated their positions on the ground, the U.S. Army Air Forces and the Royal Air Force flew close support for the beachheads, carried in supplies, and bombed and strafed German supply routes to the Normandy area. Even the heavy bombers were used for tactical, rather than their normal strategic, operations to carpet-bomb German frontline areas. The full impact of Allied air power was summed up by the German commander in Normandy in a personal letter to Hitler:

"... there is no way in which we could battle with the all-powerful enemy air forces ... without being forced to surrender territory."

Click on the following links to learn more about D-Day.

Gliders and Paratroops
D-Day Invasion Dummy
D-Day Paratrooper Uniform

Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.


Find Out More
Other Resources
D-Day 1944: Air Power Over the Normandy Beaches and Beyond (Provided by AFHSO)
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

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