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6 June, 1944 D-Day

Ninth Air Force,
406th Fighter Group,
514th Squadron

The D-Day Diary of Lt. Isham "Ike" Jenkins Dorsey, III
as he recorded in a Laundry Book.

June 5, 1944

Well, at last the day we've been waiting for is here. Tomorrow we invade France and start the push toward Berlin. Paratroopers and gliders have already landed behind the French coast and the invasion boats are ready. We get up at 4:30 in the morning and start patrolling the coast waiting and watching for any German fighters or bombers.

I feel rather nervous and tense and wonder if I'll get any rest tonight. Not afraid, just wondering about the Infantry and the rest....and how we'll make out.

This is so big and I'm glad to be able to play my small part. Just hope we'll make out O.K. 'cause it means we'll be home sooner.

June 6, 1944

Well, today was rather uneventful from the air standpoint. We did see the biggest show ever, though, and it was great to have a ringside seat to the largest operation yet. We met no enemy aircraft, but saw plenty of action on the ground.

I've never seen as many boats in all my life as the boats today making shuttle runs across the channel. We saw a few sunken, but most were getting through with the goods.

We also had to patrol the area of the airdrome all day, but still no enemy aircraft. What's wrong with those damn Jerries?

June 7, 1944

Nothing much today - same patrol of beachhead and airdrome. Our Squadron shot the first fighters today. Not one, but FOUR guys shot them and got credit for it.

Lost one of my friends today. Lt. Wilkes(John E.?) was a swell guy and we'll miss him.

June 8, 1944

Only one mission today. Dive bombing railroad tracks and troops in the Cherbourg peninsula. Lost another friend...Lt. Isbell(Merlin E., possibly June 10, 1944?). Damn good boy and we certainly hated it.

Weather was bad and I hope it clears 'cause it's a strain to fly in this soup.

June 9, 1944

Bad weather. Rain and all, and no flying. Think the invasion is going O.K.,though, and I hope and pray it is.

June 10, 1944

Still bad weather and no flying. We fly in bad weather, but this stuff is so thick we can't even get off the ground.

June 11, 1944

Only dive bombing and still nothing too exciting. Plenty of flak, but we just shot up trains and trucks and bombed railroads and highways.

June 12, 1944

No flying today but we almost pulled the worst thing possible. Called a mission of bombing troop concentrations at all costs. Ceiling about 500 feet and it would have been dark one hour when we returned. Started to take off regardless of cost and I'm afraid we would have lost plenty of boys in the soup. Some had already taken off and we found out that they were our troops! It would have really been horrible.

June 13, 1944

Well, I did it again.4:30 A.M., full boost down the runway, got up to about 80 mph, and she wouldn't leave the ground. Oh, my God! Here I go the end, across two ditches, a road, a couple of hedges, and ended up in a wheat field. Kite torn all to hell, and with a belly tank, too. And I walked away without a scratch.

Mission to Cherbourg peninsula today and damn, what a mess. Sky full of aircraft, more flak than I've ever seen, and what a mess! There were so many kites it was dangerous to fly. So much flak that if we hadn't worried about it having our name on it, it would have been beautiful. Boy, what a mess.

This morning at 3:30 when it was still dark we saw and heard some of the funniest things go over. Thought it was a burning ship and it made a heck of a noise, and passed on. Damned if I know what it was.

Now I know. All night they came over, and what a mess. Rocket kites! Our batteries shot all night and we spent most of the night in our foxholes. They seem to take two courses to the east of our airdrome and two courses to the west, and one directly over. We saw them shoot three down, and one exploded in mid-air right before it got here. Damn what an explosion.

Then we were routed out and told of German paratroopers in the area. We did guard duty and all and no sleep. Boy, it's a night I'll never forget.

The diary ended here. Either time didn't permit Ike to continue writing, or further pages did not survive the ravages of time.

These pages, all data contained in them and all photographs are © 2000/2004 by David W. Dorsey or the contributor. They cannot be reproduced or used for any commercial purpose.

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