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8 May 1943

United Kingdom
  • At 1203 hours, ten B-24 bombers of the US 44th Bomber Group took off from their base at Shipdham, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom and rendezvoused with B-24s of US 329th Squadron. Their 18th mission was to target the marshalling yards in Rouen, France. This was the largest railway yard in Northern France and all rail traffic to the Channel ports had to pass through, also there was important dock facilities in the town next to the yards. The bombers with Spitfire escorts crossed the British coast at Beachy Head and then reached France at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme at 1353 hours. As they approached the target a strong FW 190 formation attacked head on bringing down two aircraft. These two B-24 bombers were taken by surprise as they thought that the fights were P-47 fighters that were expected over the target. The loss of these two lead aircraft caused the remainder ships to abandon the primary target and to bomb targets of opportunity to the north. Seven B-24s returned to base at 1510 hours after fighting all the way through the more than 40 enemy fighters, claiming several as destroyed. Gunners of the 67th Squadron claiming six. ww2dbase [Bombing of Cities in France and Low Countries | Shipdham, England | HM]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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