Picture: Waco Hadrian and Airspeed Horsa troop carrying gliders with black and white invasion strike markings.
This section will contain short histories of the RAF aircraft involved in D-Day operations. As Coastal Command was, strictly speaking, carrying out its normally day-to-day maritime operations (albeit in support of Operation OVERLORD in many cases), its aircraft are not included in this listing.
The section is broken down into three sub-parts as follows:
- Fighters - This includes fighter-bombers such as the Typhoon and Tempest and smaller reconnaissance aircraft such as the Mustang.
- Bombers - Includes medium and light bombers (Bostons and Mitchells etc) as well as Bomber Command's heavies, the Lancaster and Halifax. The Stirling is also included here, but many more aircraft undertook transport/paratroop drop missions than bombing sorties.
- Transports and Gliders covers the Dakota, Horsa and Hamilcar and also includes the Albemarle, an aircraft originally planned to be a bomber but gainfully employed as a glider tug in Operation OVERLORD.
Some aircraft information is reproduced from a pocket booklet called 'The Recognition of Operational Aircraft' by Captain GB Ransford and published in late 1943/early 1944 (price 3 shillings and sixpence). Another source of information is 'Aircraft of the Royal Air Force Since 1918' by Owen Thetford (Putnam, 1994 edition).