Description of 6 May 1944 Mission to Sottevast

by Keith Anderson, Pilot, 600th

In those early days we flew in a 54 plane combat box with three squadrons of 18 aircraft. During our “rookie” phase we sent out only one or two squadrons to fill combat boxes lead by two squadrons from one or both of our sister 91st and 381st groups of the 1st Combat Wing.

This inaugural mission was snafu early on when the duty officer failed to awaken the mess crew on time so breakfast was delayed and each subsequent step in the process became progressively bogged down. Our takeoff was about an hour late and many of our planes never did get in proper formation – just tagged along ad hoc. Fortunately it was a milk run to one of the “noball” sites on the French coast and the target was obscured by clouds so we couldn’t drop bombs anyway. Thus no harm was done and it was chalked off as a learning experience.