Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 1944: A Welcome Day of Rest

D-Day looms, but that is a closely held secret and it isn't until June 4th that Colonel Tacon is summoned to AJAX for final briefing on the invasion plan. For the men of the 359th, Thursday, June 1, 1944 is a quiet day...

The following excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit is from the June 1944 monthly narrative History of the 359th Fighter Group archived at HQ USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.

"This month began with a dull Thursday enlivened for duty personnel in the hours before dawn with a vivid electrical display in the southern skies that misled some too-eager citizens into believing they had first view of: a) the biggest German raid of the war; b) a novel battle; c) the invasion. The rumble of thunder broke this spell, and it turned out to be the only fillip of the day, a somber affair with a dull overcast in which a release finally arrived at 1355. The whole Eighth Air Force was grounded, save for 29 special sorties."

And from Howard's diary:

"Solid deck of heavy low stratocumulus that stayed all day. Up at 0800. At 1300 released until tomorrow.

Shaw and the colonel took a pick-up ball team down to Honington (364th) and won 4 to 1. I spent most of the day at the operations shack writing letters.

The new snooker table’s a huge success, and it’s a swell table. Saw the movie tonight, and that was about all to the day. A welcome day of rest."

Lt. Spietzer batting. Photo courtesy of Anthony C. Chardella: Photo and June 1944 monthly narrative History of the 359th archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

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