Yanks twice blast French shoreline (6-3-44)

The Brooklyn Eagle (June 3, 1944)

Yanks twice blast French shoreline

Hit Calais, Boulogne areas after RAF hits Paris hub, Nazi city

London, England (UP) –
The U.S. 8th Air Force stepped up the tempo of its attacks on the French invasion coast today when Flying Fortresses and Liberators smashed twice within a few hours at German fortifications in the Pas de Calais and Boulogne areas.

Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle’s heavy bombers led hundreds of Allied planes across the Channel by daylight in the wake of a strong British night force which divided 3,000 tons of explosives among the Trappes rail junction outside Paris, the French coast and the German chemical center of Leverkusen.

The two attacks on the stretch of French shoreline across the narrowest neck of the Channel increased to four the heavy blows struck at that area in some 24 hours. The first was a record, or near-record, assault by 1,000 Fortresses and Liberators yesterday.

Strike in two waves

Nearly 500 U.S. heavy bombers escorted by a like number of fighters struck in two waves at the so-called rocket coast, laying a carpet of explosives on the mysterious “military installations” studding the area.

Thunderbolt, Lightning and Mustang fighters accompanied the Fortresses and Liberators in their second straight day of assault on the Nazi targets 20-odd miles from Southeast England. The striking forces flew over a solid cloud blanket and aimed their bombs by special devices.

The Americans met no German fighters over the clouds, but some squadrons ran into intense anti-aircraft fire, including concentrations of ground rockets which seldom have been encountered over the coast.

Tells of rocket attack

Second Lt. Martin Atkin of 115 Beach 74th Street, Far Rockaway, a Fortress co-pilot, said about 20 or 25 rockets were fired from the ground at his formation.

He said:

They left a beautiful white trail of smoke like a trailing bridal veil. They came at a slant and burst into a big ball of white flame.

While the home-based Royal Air Force was carrying out its three-way attack last night, British bombers flew from Italy against Giurgiu, the Romanian oil port on the Danube.

RAF crewmen reported seeing three big explosions at Trappes which blotted out the sprawling railyards with a blaze of multicolored light.

Other RAF planes maintained the campaign of harassment against Leverkusen, the Nazi chemical and poison gas manufacturing town in the suburbs of Cologne.

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