July 4-7, 1944

July 5 – Gordie Champagne and I in our jeep set out to visit our two detached groups. Were bypassed from Pierpoint to Fontaine-Henry on the east, then south to Thaon, south to Cairon, beyond which we cannot go – then north on the main road and visited Capt. Anderson in his RAP at Camilly, then north to visit Capt. Geggie in his light section set up outside of Le Fresne-Camilly, then back home. This part of the country is becoming very familiar.

July 6 – Main H.Q. Corps is landing today. Was up to Le Fresne-Camilly twice today. No new orders for us. The roads today are completely smothered in convoys going both ways. The news is very encouraging and it looks as if something big is about to start pretty. Terrific bombardment tonight. Several small German air raids.

July 7  – Corps H.Q. Recce arrived during the night. I brought my Light Section home and sent Capt. Carson, Ambulance and two men up to Rear until Geo. McGarry gets in to take over. That will probably be tomorrow. The other Medical Units have not arrived yet. There must have been a very heavy air raid

just beyond the German Lines. There was a steady roar and the sky was filled with Lancasters and Hurricanes coming back with their protective covering of Spitfires. There were hundreds of planes. One apparently hit by German A.A. blew up almost over us and fell to the earth in flames. At least 5 escaped and parachuted down from here it looked as if they would land in the sea. Just after I had written this, another wave of about the same size came over. Caen was one objective. We had several German planes over here after dark.

A Handley Page Halifax of No. 4 Group flies over the suburbs of Caen, France, during a major daylight raid to assist the Normandy land battle during Operation CHARNWOOD. 467 aircraft took part in the attack, which was originally intended to have bombed German strong points north of Caen, but the bombing area was eventually shifted nearer the city because of the proximity of Allied troops to the original targets. The resulting bombing devastated the northern suburbs. Royal Air Force official photographer. This is photograph CL 347 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 4700-19)

A Handley Page Halifax of No. 4 Group flies over the suburbs of Caen, France, during a major daylight raid to assist the Normandy land battle during Operation CHARNWOOD. 467 aircraft took part in the attack, which was originally intended to have bombed German strong points north of Caen, but the bombing area was eventually shifted nearer the city because of the proximity of Allied troops to the original targets. The resulting bombing devastated the northern suburbs. Royal Air Force official photographer. This is photograph CL 347 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 4700-19)

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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