Who was in the air on D-Day?

Three men wearing military uniforms look at a map.
“ ‘And here's where the target WAS.......’ says the skipper to two members of his crew on June 7, following their return from blasting enemy rail installations behind the invasion lines. They are members of the RCAF No. 6 Bomber Group's 429 ‘Bison’ Squadron and the trip on the night of D-Day was the third sortie for all of them.” From left to right: Sergeant Bob Fairborn, Pilot Officer M.B. "Harold" Tracey and Sergeant Ray Cowan. PHOTO: DND Archives, PL- 29837

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The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) had 42 operational squadrons overseas on D-Day—June 6, 1944.

These 42 also included a Home War Establishment unit, 162 Squadron, which operated Canso aircraft; it had been “loaned” to Royal Air Force (RAF) Coastal Command. Of these 42 squadrons, 39 have the “Normandy” Battle Honour, meaning that they took part in combat operations either on D-Day or during the subsequent campaign.

Hundreds of Canadian aircraft were in the air on D-Day and thousands of RCAF men and women served in Canadian or other Commonwealth units. Of the 23 Canadian airmen who were killed on D-Day, seven served with RCAF squadrons. The remainder served with RAF squadrons and units. Read the rest of the article . . .

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