10 June 1944
The defenders of Radar Station Distelfink were told that the aircraft meant to supply them had been destroyed on the ground before they could take off but that a further drop was being worked on. This message could have referred equally to III./SG 4 at Laval or the Ju 88s at Étampes (also bombed on the night of 9/10 June). Early in the afternoon however, Fliegerkorps II announced that:
Operation to supply Douvres cannot be carried out, as a/c (plural) (Roman) III./SG 4 damaged by bombs and landing area unserviceable.
At 14.00 hours Fliegerführer West urgently requested Fliegerkorps II to allocate 30 Fw 190s for III./SG 4 which filed a more than usually detailed strength return on this date:
1 (0) Fw 190 A-7
16 (1) Fw 190 A-6
1 (0) Fi 156
1 (0) Si 204
32 (18) pilots: 7 detached, 5 sick, 2 on leave.
Reasons for aircraft unserviceability were:
Fw 190 A-7 bomb splinters
Fw 190 A-6 bomb splinters
Fw 190 A-6 armament unserviceable
Fw 190 A-6 wireless unserviceable
Fw 190 A-6 elevator
Fw 190 A-6 landing wheel and brake
Fw 190 A-6 damage to engine
Fw 190 A-6 shot up
Fw 190 A-6 change of sparking plugs
By 22.30 the Fliegerführer could report that next day III./SG 4 would be able to operate five bomb-carrying Fw 190s while JG 11 could put up six. The intended attack north of Caen was cancelled but Seventh Army request air support against the "Vire landing" (UTAH Beach).
11 June 1944
Very early on the 11th, orders were given to support Panzer Gruppe West by attacking unloading operations west of the Orne Estuary. JG 11 was to rendezvous with III./SG 4 over Laval and fly direct to the initial point over Bernay, leaving there at 04.03 hours to arrive over the target 12 minutes later. Altitude was to be 4,000 m. or 100 m. below cloud base. However, they were to break off if they did not succeed in meeting the remaining units of Fliegerkorps II.
Efforts to restore serviceability were still underway, judging by a request for the Equipment Issuing Station in Rennes to deliver three BMW 801 D-2 and accessories to III./SG 4.
At 17.30 hours a message was passed that the Gruppe could not carry out its "special task" (supplying Distelfink) because the order had only arrived at 14.15 and the exact situation of the strong point and marking of the drop zone were not known. The sender urgently requested these details and asked whether he task was to be carried out early on the 12th. At 22.00 hours, III./SG 4 was ordered to transfer all of its serviceable Focke-Wulfs to Mondesir next day, to fly the supply mission. Loading was to be complete by 16.30 and Luftflotte 3 was to arrange for a fighter escort to meet the Gruppe over Mondesir at 17.10 hours, the whole fore to be over the target 35 minutes later. For its part, Jagdkorps II was to provide details of the drop zone and its markings as soon as possible.
Late that night, Fliegerkorps II told the Gruppe to prepare to move to the Chartres group of airfields, sending off an advance party on the 13th. The III./SG 4 was also ordered to report immediately why it had not yet dispatched pilots to Le Bourget. Thirteen pilots were to go at once, if they were not needed for operations, and report to Hptm. Roedel. They would then fly on to "Airfield 166" to pick up new Fw 190s being sent there by the General der Schlachtflieger.
continued on next page …
PART FIVE OF EIGHT