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The move of the 367th fighter group to the Advanced Landing Grounds in Normandy

A long time before the Invasion of France the allied planners had scheduled to build airfields close to the coast of Normandy. These advanced landing grounds (ALG), as they were named, would avoid the fighter-bombers to cross the Channel and lose a precious time to support the ground troops. Furthermore, less flying time would help to replace belly tanks by bombs or to stay longer over the target area or to schedule additional missions each day. The photo reconnaissance groups sent months and weeks before the Invasion of France a lot of aircrafts flying over this part of France to bring pictures which would help to find the most appropriate places to build those airfields.

With the first troops which landed in France on D-day and during the following days were engineer battalions in charge of the construction of those airfields. Those last were named after an alpha-numeric code. “A” for the American ALGs,“B” for the British ones and “1” for the first ALG built, “2” for the second, etc. And to help to find them on a map, the name of a nearby town would be added. So, for the American ALGs, ALG-1 Saint Pierre du Mont, was built very close to the coast between Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach on the territory of the small town of Saint Pierre du Mont. The American ALGs were built in all the Cotentin Peninsula but most of them close to the American sector of the Invasion. The English ALGs were built near the English landing beaches of the Invasion more close to Caen. When the 367th FG was scheduled to cross the Channel and settle down on his own ALG, all the ALGs were already occupied, mainly by P-47s groups.

American Advanced Landing Grounds in northern France

American Advanced Landing Grounds in northern France (9th AF Report)

American Advanced Landing Grounds in northern France

The first ALGs were built in the Cotentin Peninsula (9th AF Report)

So the three squadrons of the 367th FG were assigned to a different ALG. The 392nd FS was sent to ALG-10 Carentan, the 393rd FS was sent to ALG-14 Cretteville and the 394th FS and Headquarter to ALG-6 Beuzeville.


A-10 Carentan was 2 miles east of Carentan but was built on the surface of 3 small villages: Catz, Saint Pellerin and Les Veys. It was built by the 826th Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB). This battalion went ashore on June 12th, two days before the site of A-10 was captured from the enemy. The runway was 5000 feet long and 120 feet large and made of square mesh track. The engineers built the runway parallel to the highway 13 in the middle of apple trees orchards and farm lands. The first aircrafts to land on the runway of A-10 were the P-47s of the 50th FG. The 25 P-38s of the 392nd FS were parked to the southern part of the airfield as the rest was occupied by the P-47s of the 50th FG.

pilots of the 392nd fighter squadron embarking a C-47
pilots of the 392nd fighter squadron embarking a C-47

The two pictures above are thought to have been taken on July 27th, 1944, when the pilots of the 392nd FS were embarking a C-47 for their flight from Ibsley to

A-10 Carentan (ClydeDeavers/archives 367thFG)

The 393rd FS was sent to ALG-14 Cretteville. The 819th EAB started to build this ALG on June 23rd. It was operational on July 4th. The airfield was built of square mesh track, pierced steel plank and prefabricated Hessian surface. When the 393rd FS came from Ibsley, it was already occupied by the P-47s of the 358th FG. The runway was 3600 feet long and 120 feet large and was later extended with 1400 feet of packed hearth.

The 394th FS as well as the Headquarter were assigned to ALG A-6 Beuzeville called also A-6 Sainte-Mère-Eglise as Sainte-Mère-Eglise, the first French village liberated by the American paratroopers on D-Day, was very close to the airfield. It was also called A-6 La Londe, La Londe being a farm right in the middle of the airfield, along the taxiway. This airfield was built by the 819th EAB from June 6th to June 15th, 1944. The engineers started to work on the airfield although the German troops were pretty close. The battalion lost 7 men to the enemy artillery while building the airfield. The runway was 5000 feet long and 120 feet large and made of square mesh track. The 394th FS had to share the airfield with the 371th FG and its P-47s. The runway was aligned in the direction of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, the aircrafts flew pretty close of the steeple of the church just after takeoff. The children of the village liked to climb to the steeple to see the aircrafts taking off.


The monthly reports of each squadron of the 367th FG were either scarce on the move from England to France or very detailed.


The 392nd FS’ report was rather poor: “On the 27th, the air echelon moved, their destination, France. After staying two days in the marshaling area, they were herded on a Liberty ship in which they crossed the Channel. Sergeant George H. Sather was seriously wounded aboard ship when an ack-ack fragment hit him. He was treated and then evacuated to a shore hospital”.

But we can have some information from letters written by Lts Eugene Fleming and Aden Parmenter to their folks.


Gene Fleming wrote his letter on July 30th, 1944, the day before he was killed in action: “Yes, the country is very bad for (unreadable) fighting. It’s swell for a defense though. The whole countryside is covered with hedgerows in this part of France. It’s beautiful country –all green trees, (unreadable), etc. Most of the little towns are almost destroyed completely –some of them are. The noise of the gunfire and enemy planes kept us awake the first 2 nights but I only woke up once last night. A couple of nights ago the A.A. (anti-aircraft) gun crews here at the field shot down a German raider plane. It hit about a mile from the field. It really made a big flash when it hit. It rains every day almost, not hard, just on and on more or less local shower. It’s pleasant weather so far as the temperature is concerned. It’s a little on the cool side, however, most of the time. The front is moving pretty fast now. We have up to date maps of day to day and hour to hour situations. We need them so we won’t shoot up our own troops. That’s how fast things move sometimes. However we don’t hear news flashes very often and I imagine you all know as much or more about general situation than we do. We all expect plenty of fighting yet. Well, yesterday I got my first really first-hand view of the war. Ray, Clyde, Hugh and I hitch-hiked up to the front lines. We started at 9:00 in the morning and got back at 6:00 in the evening. Altogether we covered about 80 miles, I guess. The traffic over here is really terrible but the M.P.’s are doing a swell job of handling it. The dust is terrible and we were all filthy dirty when we got back. We managed to find a hot shower and clean up things.

Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever see a dead person other than at funerals. We saw dozens of dead Germans, also dead horses and cattle. Saw lots of German prisoners also. We didn’t see any dead Americans, I guess they get them out pretty fast.

The stench of dead soldiers, horses and cattle is really bad in spots, some of them have been there for several days. Most of them have been stripped of souvenirs by the front line boys on their way through. Naturally we didn’t touch any of them or try to get souvenirs off them. I managed to get a German helmet, belt buckle, book, cantina and cartridges. We were trying to find a luger p-38 pistol but we couldn’t locate any. I understand the boys up front that have them won’t part with them for less than $35 to $100.

We finally turned around at a little town that had been captured that day. It had been shelled just an hour or so before we got there. The lines were within 120 yards of the town at one point. We stood by our front line tanks and watched them shell a little town.

Our C.O. has issued orders that we are not to go up the front anymore so I guess we won’t go anymore.

One thing is sure after going up into the front line seeing the battle blasted towns and people at close range I’m surely glad I’m a pilot. It sure beats being on the ground. When we are not flying, we are in practically no danger.

In fact, even when we are flying it’s not very dangerous. I’ve seen German, planes twice. Our worst enemy is flak. You can’t fight flak, you just take evasive action and hope you are lucky. So far I haven’t been hit at all. Knock on wood”.

Lieutenant Aden Parmenter 392nd fighter squadron

Lt Ted Parmenter. He was shot down in the Falaise Pocket on 17 Aug. 1944 and was saved by a French lady. He spent several months in an hospital in UK before being sent back to the USA to become an instructor in the P-38 (Jane Parmenter/archives 367th FG)

Mess tent of 367th fighter group in advanced landing ground in Normandy

Mess tent at A-10 Carentan or A-2 Cricqueville but more probably A-10 (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

Lieutenants Ray Jackson and Eugene Fleming, 392nd fighter squadron, in A-10 Carentan

Lieutenant Eugene Fleming (right) and his best lieutenant Ray Jackson the day they arrived at A-10 Carentan (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

Aden Parameter wrote his letters on 29 July 1944: “Well, I am in France now, permanently anyway at least until the war is over. Living conditions aren’t too bad. I and two fellows are living in a six men tent so we have plenty of room. I have a good G.I. Army cot for a bed so I manage to sleep very comfortable. Our food is very good just as good as any army food I have eaten anywhere. I eat out of my mess kit and have to sit on the ground but it isn’t so bad. I guess I will have to do my own laundry now since I am over here. I have been using my helmet as a wash pan to wash and shave in. It makes a very good wash pan”.


And he also wrote the following memories : “My log shows 1:00 hour mission on July 27 but this was for flying a P-38 from England to France and landing at a new airfield in France. I had a 300 gallon belly tank fixed so you could carry baggage in it and carried my personal possessions in that. I also had a bicycle but had to send it over on a boat and never saw it again. The land fields in France were pretty crude, iron mats about 3000 to 3500 feet long and very rough. However we could get the P38 in and out. Until after the allied armies broke out of the beach heads we were flying very close to the ground action and often would pick up enemy flak before gaining our flying altitude after takeoff”.

Lieutenants Lloyd Andrews and Edwin Brydges, 392nd fighter squadron kettenkrad at A-10 Carentan

Lieutenants Lloyd Andrews and Edwin Brydges, 392nd FS, with "The Thing", a German Kettenkrad at A-10 Carentan (Lillian Dillon/archives 367th FG)

Lieutenants Hugh Hallman and Ray Jackson, 392nd fighter squadron, in A-10 Carentan

Lieutenants Hugh Hallman and Ray Jackson the day they arrived at A-10 Carentan (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

Doc Bleich, the surgeon of the 392nd FS in the orchard at A-10 Carentan where the squadron was billeted. The jeep "Little Mike" was named after his son (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

Doc Bleich, surgeon of 392nd fighter squadron, in ALG A-10 Carentan

Lieutenant Ray Jackson and medic Mickey Ellyne at A-10 Carentan. The jeep "Little Mike" was the jeep of the surgeon of the 392nd FS, Alan Bleich and named after his son (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

Lieutenant Clyde Deavers, 392nd fighter squadron, in A-10 Carentan

Pilots of the 392nd FS setting up their tents at A-10 Carentan at the en of July 1944. Lieutenant Clyde Deavers is on the left (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

Captain Joe Griffin, 392nd fighter squadron, in A-10 Carentan

Captain Joe Griffin the day he arrived at A-10 Carentan (Carolyn Cobb via Clyde Deavers/archives 367th FG)

On the other hand, the monthly report of the 393rd FS is several pages long. The first part describes the move of the Air Echelon: “On 19th of July 1944 eight officers and ninety-seven enlisted men departed from Ibsley, Hants, for overseas, leaving the area at 0850. This contingent was our Air echelon, which was to prepare a new base for us in France. Upon arrival at the Marshaling area near Dorchester, all English money was exchanged for francs, and all personnel received a partial pay of 94.03 in French currency. The morning of the 20th, two officers and 49 enlisted men, composing the vehicle party, left the Marshalling area for Southampton. At 1900 that evening they boarded the ‘Cyrus H. McCormick’ and at 2000 set sail for the far shore. There were mixture of emotion among the men, some a little sorry to leave, other’s curious as to what Southampton looked like from the water, but the greatest curiosity of all was lay ahead.

Speculations as to where we were going flew thick and fast, a few became sea sick, but this excitement soon were off, and we headed for the sack. The next morning we were served “C” rations, and at 1100 Chaplain Bell conducted church services on the forward deck. At 1700 land loomed up and was identified by the ship’s crew as Cherbourg. At 2245 the ship anchored off of the Omaha beach. The night was quiet except for an occasional burst of anti-aircraft fire.

For four days we remained aboard at this point of anchorage, with little to do except shower, eat and sleep. But on the 5thevening the squadron disembarked and spent the night on the beach. The only excitement of debarkation was the stalling out of jeeps in the landing procedure. The following morning we departed for landing strip number 16. At this point the marching party joined the vehicle party and camp was set up. At 2300 orders transferring 1st Lts Nensteil and O’Shaughnessy to the officers pool at Ninth Air Force Headquarter, to await shipment back to the States, to attend the Civil Affairs school. Also orders were received for the squadron to move to strip number 14. This movement was accomplished without mishap and upon arrival at the new field, we were greeted by the flight echelon.

The marching party of the Air Echelon remained in camp C-9 of Marshalling Area, when the vehicle party left. It was expected that there were to depart this area within eight to ten hours after the vehicle party, but events proved otherwise as we remained here three days before embarkation. Conditions in the Marshalling Area were quite satisfactory, in fact the supreme of all was delicious white bread, because all we had received since we had arrived in England was a dry brown variety. One “GI” expressed surprise when he saw the white bread when passing through the chow line, where-upon a colored boy stationed in the Marshalling Area answered with a proud expression on his face ‘We always gets white bread’.

On the fourth day of our stay here we departed for docks arriving there at 1500, just as the vessel which was to take us to France was docking. After waiting until 1730 we embarked, and immediately thereafter departed for France. Our vessel was an English ship of fair size, of the Castle Lines.

We arrived at the Omaha Beach the next morning and in our turn, climbed aboard boat which put us ashore. After marching about three miles we reached our area and bedded down for the night. The next morning we entrucked and joined the vehicle party at ALG # 16”.

The move of the Ground Echelon is also described next: “The morning of 27 July 1944 was the beginning of an eventful day for the Ground Echelon of the Squadron. The motor convoy consisting of Squadron vehicles with detachment from the 394th Fighter Squadron departed from Ibsley, Hants at 0827. This convoy was commanded by 1st Lt. James P. Valent and along with him rode 35 eager enlisted men who acted as drivers and assistant drivers. Briefing disclosed that the first destination was the Marshalling Area near Dorchester. The convoy was scheduled to arrive at destination at 0957. 

At 1100 hours the Ground Echelon Personnel consisting of 140 enlisted men and 2 officers departed Ibsley, Hants by S0S vehicles for the same destination. Five enlisted men were under the supervision of Captain James D. Erwin, a group officer. Captain Little commanded the ground echelon personnel which detrucked at Ringwood then boarded a train for Dorchester. Arriving at this city we detrained and entrucked again. After travelling six miles the land of tents met our eyes.

Personnel were assigned tents and briefed on the location of latrines, showers and messes. While in the Marshalling Area personnel were issued “K” rations, cigarettes, candy, sea sick pills and insect powder. Individual equipment shortages were replaced and the conversion of British currency to French currency also were accomplished here. Here we also met the motor convoy which departed before us. Many of us attempting to carry too much equipment in our packs relieved ourselves of it at this time. During our stay it was noted that the discipline and morale of the enlisted men was good.

On the night of 28 July the men were briefed again on our short sea voyage and also received our orders for the following day which was Saturday. The motor convoy was regrouped and departed at 0830 for the far shore. Personnel were assembled and entrucked at 1010 and away we drove to the embarkation point at Weymouth. The men appeared to be serious and determined, realizing that this was it.

Arriving at Weymouth we were greeted by the American Red Cross and served coffee and doughnuts. Of course the Weymouth girls received their last whistles from the boys of the 393rd for a while at least. Here we boarded an LCI and received a nice reception from the naval personnel. The men ridded themselves of their packs and hit the sack for a needed rest. We steamed out and assumed the position of Flag ship for the convoy. Towards night fall we set sail for the coast of France. A few of the men proved to themselves that a little more experience was needed before becoming sea worthy, of course the issue of vomit bags came in handy.

During the night our ship hit a buoy and boys thought the enemy had the bead on us until the crew informed them differently. At least the men didn’t waste any time hitting the deck.

The coast of France was sighted the next day which was Sunday around 1300. We anchored off shore until 2300 and debarked at this time after the tide had receded so we could walk ashore. Being warned of a probable air raid we left the shore as quickly as possible and started a search for the Marshalling Area. We marched in the night for a distance of approximately seven miles with the aid of an M.P. and signs our weary 140 enlisted men and 2 officers reached the destination. Throwing ourselves on the ground we cuddled up in our blankets for a couple of hours rest. No one seemed to be interested in pitching a shelter half. The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast of ‘K’ rations and entrucked again for our temporary location, site 14, as our destination. Arriving at 1100 we joined the Air and Flight Echelons and began pitching tents and digging fox holes for a temporary stay.

On 27 July Col. Crossen the Group Deputy Commander, assumed command of the Squadron, Major Joy assuming his former role as operation officer, with captain Moody as his assistant. At 1115 Col. Crossen lead the Squadrons P-38’s across the Channel to air strip14, where we were to begin operations the following day. The remainder of us in the Flight Echelon followed in C-47’s with bag and baggage landing at Air Strip#2, and proceeding to Air Strip #14 in ‘GI’ trucks, through the thick powdering yellow dust of the crowded French roads. Here we joined our air echelon and informed its commander our adjutant, 1stLt. John V. Hefton, that he was now a captain effective 17 July 1944. With the dawn at our new home in France found us sweating out a mission. As the Air Echelon was not arrived yet at the field, man power and equipment were missing to prepare the P-38s for other missions. But thanks to the 83rd Airdrome squadron and the 358th FG already on the ALG, the 393rd received all the required assistance. So thanks to those two outfits the squadron was back to the saddle."

Cap. Jack Reed, 394th FS, gives a short entry in his diary for 27 July 44: “We moved to site 6 in France today. We are stationed temporarily with 371st, a P-47 group. Col. Jim Daley, a friend of mine from R.A.F. days, is Group Ops so we get along pretty well. Sort of celebrated a get together last nite ‘with my bourbon’. We are sleeping on the ground in pup tents and eating C rations but it could always be worse. No Ops as yet. Group is with the 394th (Itmar) on this site. The 392 (Fido) is on site 10 and the 393rd (Decco) on site 14”.

Captain Lloyd Hinkley, 394th fighter squadron, in ALG-6 La Londe

Cap. Lloyd Hinkley, 394th FS, putting up his tent on July 27th, 1994, in ALG 6 La Londe. The man on the left is not identified. The aircraft in the background are P-47s Thunderbolt, certainly of the 371th FG (Ken Jorgensen via Jean-Luc Gruson/archives 367th FG)

Lieutenant Kenneth Jorgensen, 394th fighter squadron, in ALG-6 La Londe

Ken Jorgensen and crew chief in ALG 6 La Londe. Ken Jorgensen was assigned this P-38J-20 44-23500 (Ken Jorgensen via Jean-Luc Gruson/archives 367th FG)

Erny Snow, propeller specialist of the 394th FS described the arrival on the French soil in his memories: “We get ready to leave ship by way of landing craft, which we load into and it is lowered over the side. We went past a lot of large ships which had been sunk and now being used as a break water. Our boat landed at a pier and we unloaded onto French soil. The first man on it was capt. Murdoch Young and I was second. Anyway none of us got shot at so it must have been safe. We got word to march up the hill, which didn’t look very steep but time we got to the top we were all pooped out. At top of hill I was out of wind and could hear the guy behind me huffing and puffing also. This was at Utah Beach. We were carrying full packs. We went past a bunch of German prisoners and they looked a hell of a lot happier than we did. We walked a mile or so and camped in a small orchard for the night. We pitched up tents, ate K rations and settled down for night. Area was full of foxholes and a lot of old shells laying around. And it rained.

During the night we could hear guns firing in the distance, like the rumble of thunder and suddenly it seemed all hell had broke loose as the Ack, Ack near us started shooting. We all were scared as it was our first taste of war. O.J. Henry was up at latrine when the shooting started and he went running and jumping over fox holes and crawled into his pup tent to be safe.

Next morning all was quiet and we ate K rations and waited to find out if we had to walk all over France or ride in trucks. Soon the trucks came and we were happy. We loaded up and were taken to our first field in France, stripA-6 near Sainte-Mere-Eglise. The paratroopers on D-day landed near this town. We pitched pup tents and dug fox holes. I did not have a partner to make a pup tent so just covered up with shelter half and sacked up, it started to rain so I cussed the weather and fell asleep.

A few nights later we had the air raid, we heard shooting in distance but all of a sudden we heard a plane diving on field and all broke loose as the Ack Ack opened up plus small machine guns and some large ones. It looked like a 4th of July fireworks which had caught on fire and all shooting at once.

We all dove into our fox hole sand as I jumped into mine I could see everyone else doing the same, sort of funny now but at time was not a bit funny. When it settled down a bit I realized we had more danger of the falling flack hitting us than plane bullets, so next day we built covers over the foxholes.

When the ground crews arrived a few days later and heard of our big air raid they dug holes very fast. The planes came in from England and our usual work began.

Field is dirt and quite dusty. I found another shelter half and now had a pup tent all my own. On this field there is also a P-47 group and with our P-38s there is a lot of flying going on. Runway had a wire netting on ends and a lot of tires got punctured. …/… A party was given for the orphan children of Sainte Mere Eglise, the mayor spoke English and told of the paratrooper landings on D-day. Our planes are flying many missions and we are busy. Many French people come to see the planes and Sunday they turnout in droves. A few men get caught sitting on latrines as French people walk past them. In a small grain field near our tent area I saw a number of French women gleaning grain and it remained me of the famous painting ‘The gleaners’. There is a lot of cider, wine and cognac and some of the fellows are finding out they can’t handle the stuff”.

Col. Young, the 367th FG C.O., in a letter to his folks on August 12th 1944, describes the party given for the children of Sainte-mère-Eglise: “At noon our group did something unique. Fifty children from a nearby ‘liberated’ town, all of them without one or more of their parents due to the war, plus the mayor and his wife, and two old teacher maid were our guests for chow. The men have been going without certain parts of their meals for several days for the occasion. Fifty soldiers sponsored the kids, fed them out of their own mess kits, and in general entertained them. After lunch we had entertainment. The mayor and his wife sat at special table with me. I introduced the mayor who gave the children a talk in French, followed by a description in English of how our paratroopers liberated his town on D minus one. Then a very lovely little orphan about ten presented me with a huge bouquet of flowers with a very poised speech in French which the mayor’s young son interpreted for me. That was followed by a French comedian who sang some songs and told some jokes all in French much to the amusement of the kids and hence the soldiers.


Our own orchestra then played a few numbers, but about that time I was called away to fly a mission and had to leave in the middle of the celebrations. 

I have had nothing to impress me like those kids did. When that little girl gave me those flowers, with all the kids gathered around, I actually had a lump in my throat. And when we passed out candy to the kids –the men gave their weeks PX rations –it was a sight seldom to be seen. The kids were all clean and neat, though as a rule poorly dressed. One little girl had on a dress made from a parachute that was used in the liberation of her town. The kids were the best behaved kids I have ever seen, but of course they have spent four years doing just what they were told. Many of them had scabies, a type of skin rash caused by poor rations. All of them were on a holiday, and they had a wonderful time, making many a soldier happy that he had participated in the affair. The mayor’s wife had spent a year in England and spoke English fairly well. The mayor knew enough English to make up for what I couldn’t say in French. They were nicely dressed, though naturally their clothes showed lack of cleaning and pressing. They were charming people with three sons, all youngsters, and an air of living well that American can’t affect. For instance, the mayor sipped his coffee loud and clearly, something we don’t do in the best circles, but he enjoyed it thoroughly making it correct in France. He loved coffee so much that I gave him my beloved can of Nescafe. He has had no coffee for four years”.


After two weeks spent at the three ALGs, the 3 squadrons moved to a unique airfield, ALG A-2 Cricqueville. The move was rather short as this new airfield is 9 miles east of ALG A-10 Carentan, 20 miles from ALG A-6 and 23 miles of ALG A-14 Cretteville. The ALG A-2 had been first occupied by the 354th FG and its P-51 Mustangs. Once this group moved to another ALG, the 3 squadrons of the 367th FG had enough hardstands for its P-38s. The men and the aircrafts moved to this airfield on August 14. 


A-2 Cricqueville was built by the 820th EAB from June 9th to June 20th, 1944. The runway was 3600 feet long and 120 feet large and made of square mesh and was extended with 1400 of square mesh. The airfield perimeter was on the soil of two villages, La Cambe and Cricqueville and was very close of the coast and the Pointe du Hoc, a famous cliff the Rangers climbed on D-Day. The pilots would fly over the Channel just after takeoff to gain enough altitude before taking their heading for the mission because the German troops and their anti-aircraft fire were still close to the ALG.

Briefing 367th fighter group by Col. Charles Young at A-2 Cricqueville
Briefing 367th fighter group by Col. Charles Young at A-2 Cricqueville

Briefing by Col. Charles Young at A-2 Cricqueville. The P-38 is his personnel aircraft "Miss Helena". These pictures were taken at the end of August 1944. The mission was a group effort mission as pilots of the 3 squadrons can be seen (archives 367th FG)

Erny Snow gave additional information on the new airfield: “We move again to a field not too far away. It is strip A-2 near Cricqueville. Field is similar to other one. …/…We still live in pup tents but haven’t dug any fox holes yet. Biggest nuisance is the darn bees, at chowtime a fellow has to use one hand to bat away the bees. Mess area is out in a pasture and sort of picnic type eating goes on. I got stung on the tongue and Scheffler got stung on lower lip which swelled up and looked like a horse’s lower lip. The field has one runway and we often stand near watching planes takeoff or land. One from other squadron crashed on take-off killing pilot (this pilot was Ken Slepicka of the 392nd FS. He was killed in the crash). Supposed has been caused by dust clogging carburetor and stopping an engine, which on take-off is a bad thing to have happen”.


A few days after the 367th FG settled down at this new ALG it received the visit of General ‘Pete’ Quesada, the C.O. of the fighter command of the 9th Air Force. It also had the visit of Frank Scherchel, a reporter of Life magazine. This reporter took a lot of pictures of the men and their P-38s. To my knowledge the photos were not published in an issue of Life. Frank Scherschel even flew a bombing mission in the nose of a P-38 Droopsnoot flown by Cap.


Jack Reed who wrote this event in his diary for August 21st: "Yesterday the Life photographer was here to do a story on our group. We have some «droopsnoots» which are 38s revamped to carry two people. Namely a bombardier in the nose. We fixed up one of these, slung2 x 1000 bombs on it and took this guy (a Mr. Frank Scherschel) to a mission with us. I was flying the Droop Snoot and we had a 4 ship escort as the Snoot has no guns. Went in north of Paris and bombed a shipyard. Guess he got some good pictures as weather over the target was excellent. However, after we made our bomb run he was ready to go home. Think it shook him a bit".

P-38 Droop Snoot of the 367th fighter group at A-2 Cricqueville

Picture taken from one of the P-38 Droop Snoot of the 367th FG at A-2 Cricqueville. Note the Droop Snoot on the right of the picture. This picture was taken at the end of August 1944 certainly by the reporter of Life, Frank Scherschel  (archives 367th FG)

P-38 Droop Snoot of the 367th fighter group at A-2 Cricqueville

Picture taken from one of the P-38 Droop Snoot of the 367th FG at A-2 Cricqueville. This picture was taken at the end of August 1944 certainly by the reporter of Life, Frank Scherschel  (archives 367th FG)

The 367th FG left Normandy in the beginning of September1944 and occupied the ALG-44 Le Peray, north of Le Mans.


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