Whenever I remember D-Day I feel again the aching sense of suffering and heroics that occurred 18,000 feet below me that early morning 42 years ago today.
The nights were much shorter in England than what I was used to growing up in Long Beach, so in order to get some sleep before the usual crack-of-dawn (or earlier) call for a bombing mission, it was necessary to close the blackout curtains to darken the room by shutting out the later evening light.
But on the evening of June 4, we were called out to get ready just before darkness was fully upon us. Unusual. The rumors circulated once more. After some night formation flying and speculating, we headed for our target along the coast.
It was a long day. Again it didn't happen. Just a rumor. Must wait again.
The next evening, June 5, we started early again. Same as the night before. Something was added to strengthen the rumor: All flyable aircraft were ordered up.