386th

D-Day, Juno Beach. The Canadians of the North Shore Regiment went ashore on Nan sector, Red Beach. Before them lay the small seaside village of St. Aubin-sur-Mer. Dominating the beach was WN27, a defensive position consisting of a 50 mm anti-tank gun in a small bunker. The gun caused serious troubles in the early stages of the landings knocking out the first DD tanks to arrive, one of which can be seen in the distance, near the wall. It was finally dealt with by other tanks with a Centaur hitting the bunker with a 95mm shell. In the aftermath more than 70 empty shell casings were spread around the bunker, attesting to the gun crew’s resolution to fight. The bunker and gun are still ‘in situ’ today, (the gun now facing west instead of east) bearing the markings of those hours of fighting (see comments below for modern photos).

Days later, on June 10th, P-47 (42-76279) from 365th Fighter-Bomber Group, 386th Fighter Squadron, crashed landed on the sea near St. Aubin, the aircraft being recovered the next day and brought back to the beach. Unfortunately, the pilot, 2nd Lieutenant John Alfred Weese, lost his life as a result of the crash landing. In comments you may read the official statement given by his flight leader on the accident.

Original Photo source - Heimdal Coll.

  • Me after finishing Origins for the 386th time: wow that was probably the last time I played origins I mean wow I've really played the shit outta this game if I have to defeat this archdemon one more time also graphics aren't that good and there's inquisition etc etc
  • Me three weeks later: *creates three new wardens and re-makes all canon ocs*

1945 08 Consolidated B-32 Dominator- ‘Hobo Queens’ - Stan Stokes

The B-32 Dominator was produced by Consolidated Aircraft in parallel with Boeings development of the B-29 Superfortress. While both of these long-range heavy strategic bomber development programs encountered some difficulties, the B-29 was completed sooner, and was ordered in far larger quantities than the B-32. About one hundred Dominators were ultimately built and the aircraft saw some service very late in WW II. Powered by the same engines as the B-29, the B-32 had a distinctive very tall stabilizer. Four B-32s from the 386th BS of the 312th BG based at Yontan, Okinawa were given a three-day photoreconnaissance mission near the end of the War. On the third day of the mission, August 18, 1945, two aircraft were forced to turn back and only two aircraft, the Hobo Queen and the Hobo Queen II made it to Japan. The mission involved photographing an area north and east of Tokyo. The aircraft were unescorted, as the War was for all practical purposes over. As the two aircraft prepared to head home they were jumped by a large group of Japanese fighters including Imperial Navy A6M2 Zeros and Army Ki44 Tojos. The first attacks occurred at 1:30 PM while the aircraft were at 20,000 feet. The enemy planes made ten passes on the Hobo Queen II with little or no damage. About twenty-five passes were made at the Hobo Queen, which was under the command of Lt. John R. Anderson. Seven passes were made at the tail of the B-32 and one of the attackers blew-up. One fighter pass was made at the ball turret from below with no success, and another six were made at the forward upper turret. About six more were made at the nose turret position, and several more at the upper rear turret. Another enemy fighter blew up, and a third was seen going down smoking. The pilots went to full mix and full throttle and power-dived the B-32 from 20,000 to 10,000 feet. The Hobo Queen absorbed a lot of damage during these attacks. The radioman got the Hobo Queen II to regroup with the badly damaged Hobo Queen to provide some cover. Three men were wounded including Sgt. Anthony J. Marchione, SSgt. Joseph M. Lacharite, and Sgt. John T. Houston. Marchione and Lacharite were at the camera hatch at the rear of the aircraft when that section of the plane was riddled. Both men were hit. Despite his own wounds, SSgt. Lacharite began administering first aid to Marchione, but a second fighter pass wounded Marchione again. Despite the valiant efforts of his crewmates to keep him alive, Marchione passed away at 2:00PM. Sgt. Marchione may have been the last USAAF combat casualty of the War. SSgt. Chevalier administered first aid to SSgt. Lacharite during the long ride home. Despite being unable to bank his aircraft due a feathered prop, Lt. Anderson got the Hobo Queen down successfully.