D + 6

It’s 12 June, so D-Day plus 6. It was on D+6 that the 79th Infantry Division started disembarking on Utah Beach as part of the follow-up forces. The division was fully ashore by D+8, and entered combat on the 19th, pushing past Valognes towards Cherbourg.

The L4 Grasshoppers (including ours) of the 79th Inf Div played a large part, directing the fall of artillery, and perhaps even naval gunfire, as the big guns of the RN and USN were still parked off the beaches. I can’t find any information about where they flew from, probably just a random field cleared of cows.

There was one airfield hastily constructed on 6 June by IX Engineering Command as an emergency landing ground at Poupeville near Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. The site of ELS-1 has long since returned to agriculture, but at the time it was a “sod 2000ft runway” – about 610m in modern terms. Looking at Google Earth it appears that the engineers just had to knock out a small bit of hedgeline to combine two fields into one and… Tadaaaa! Instant airfield, just remove cows.

Some of the liaison aircraft did fly across to Normandy, but a large number will have come ashore over the beaches packed into a “Deuce-and-a-half” truck. I came across this photo recently (Source: internet) which shows a reproduction of the package:

Whether that is a real Cub or a model is not known, it would seem a shame to use a real aircraft like this, perhaps it is an unserviceable airframe restored just enough to look good. As an exhibit of how things were done 79 years ago it is pretty good.

Talking of 79 years…next year is the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Less than a year until “L-Birds to Normandy 2024” – can’t wait.

Random Photo Dump 2023

Just some photos from the archives. I need to stop taking pictures as there are always far too many to put in the posts, but some of them are quite nice. Others just show random routine stuff. Here’s a selection:

Raindrops on the Cub’s strut

I deliberately went flying under a rain shower to try and give the Cub a wash, but as you can see the raindrops just sat there and didn’t do anything.

Eindecker tinkering

The Eindecker has been a bit neglected recently., with an electrical snag that means we need a new ignition switch. I now have the switch, but haven’t got around to installing it yet. Either the hangar has been too cold or the weather has been too nice. As an interim measure I gave the aircraft a good clean and inspection, pumping up the tyres and lubing the axles. I just need to get on with the switch installation…

Random mountain
Busy at work
Traffic display

It’s actually my phone stuck on the panel with velcro. I found that the SkyEcho device can feed several devices at once. The phone goes to a full screen traffic display on Skydemon, whereas the iPad only has a small display in the corner of the screen. It can be made slightly bigger but it is nice to have a separate display on the panel. Just like the big airliners.

Traffic on the map

Skydemon still displays traffic on the map too, so we have multiple sources of information.

And a Cub picture to finish. Always like a nice Cub picture…