Re: [MV] marking Friendlies

Geoff Winnington-Ball (
Wed, 08 Jul 1998 21:01:44 -0400


The problem was that few in those RAF or 8th Air Force aircraft ever looked
down! BOTH air forces killed hundreds of friendly ground troops with
criminally inaccurate bombing during the Normandy campaign. In one case at
least, this was because the bombing zone was briefed as a point in time from
the run-in from the coast, and, of course, this timing got screwed up by
winds and miscalculation. In at least one other, successive waves of bombers
dropped on the smoke cloud from preceeding detonations, never realizing
those detonations were from friendly vehicles going up; and of course, as
the raid proceeded, the cloud grew, further and further back into the Allied
lines. I understand that in at least one raid, an incredibly courageous FOO
in a Piper Cub took off and actually flew circles around and under the
bombers, firing flares all the time, in an effort to stop them. he lived,
but it didn't help.

In NW Europe, ALL combatants feared the airforce.


Joe Baker wrote:

> Id from the air was often accomplished using marker panels that were
> brightly colored that could be easily Id by a plane traveling at several
> hundred miles an hour. The panels were placed on top of key vehicles in
> the column to provide recognition. These same panels were often also
> used to mark the front line trace of friendly positions to assist the
> aircrafts attack on the bad guys..

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