Operations of Bomber Command on the night of June 6 to 7, 1944
D-Day aerial operations
1,065 bombers (589 Lancaster, 418 Halifax and 58 Mosquito) are deployed to bombard the road and rail communications lines behind the combat zone in Normandy.
All the targets are located in the heart of the French cities or near them: 3,488 tons of bombs are thus dropped on Achères, Argentan, Caen, Châteaudun, Condé-sur-Noireau, Coutances, Saint-Lô, Lisieux and Vire.
Despite the efforts made in the field of precision during raids, collateral damage on French civilians is inevitable. The clouds affect the precision of the bombardments on a good part of the targets and at Achères, the squadron commander orders the abandonment of the raid and no bomb is dropped because of the lack of visibility. 10 Lancasters and 1 Halifax are lost during these raids.
6 of the Lancaster of the fifth group are lost during the raid on Caen. The main attack force does not wait for the target to be correctly marked and it flies over the bombing altitude (less than 1,000 meters) an area under the protection of German antiaircraft defenses.
In Argentan, Chateaudun and Lisieux, a number of damages are caused both to the railways and to the infrastructures. A major bridge in Coutances is badly damaged. The cities of Caen, Condé-sur-Noireau, Saint-Lô and Vire are targets of destructive bombing and the streets are completely blocked.
In addition to these missions, the following raids are conducted:
– 32 Mosquitos on Ludwigshafen;
– 18 Serrate patrols;
– 19 aircraft dump mines in the Brest region;
– 26 aircraft are used for resistance operations.
No loss in these missions.
Balance of the operations
A total of 1,160 aircraft are deployed during the night of 6 to 7 June and 11 aircraft were lost (0.9%).