06 Jun 1944

When Allied forces invaded France under Operation Overlord, seven squadrons regarded as ‘Australian’ under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme Agreement took part in attacks on the Normandy beaches and surrounding areas. Lancaster bombers of 460 Squadron attacked two towns adjacent to the westernmost beach, codenamed Utah, while 463 and 467 Squadrons struck at gun emplacements covering the adjoining Omaha beach. Halifax bombers from 466 Squadron hit a German battery in the same area. Spitfires of 453 Squadron flew 43 sorties in support of the landing forces on the first day, while Mosquito night fighters of 456 and 464 struck at enemy rail and road communications, bridges and enemy troop convoys on the nights of 5/6 June and 6/7 June. Another three ‘Australian’ squadrons Nos 10, 461 and 455 also participated in anti-submarine and anti-ship strike operations that prevented the German Navy from interfering with Allied plans.