World War II
Airplanes and
Legends 


                                       

                                            plane3.JPG (478052 bytes)

World War II   "Last Flight of the Spirit of LSU"
                                                   


The War in the
Summer of 1944

In the early summer of 1944 Allied Forces in the
European Theatre of Operations
found themselves poised for the most arduous
campaign of World War II. 

The only war still raging within
Occupied Europe was the air war.
Bombers from the U.S. Air Corps
Were making daily
bombing raids over Europe.

The B-24 and B17 bombers were, by then, being
escorted by the new P-51 Fighters
to protect them from enemy
attacks from the German

Air Force.
p51a.JPG (308189 bytes)
The P-51 was a long-range fighter that offered
the bombers protection on their longest
missions over Germany.
This was protection they never had before
and was so desperatly needed.


The continent of Euorope had been totally occupied
after five desperarte years of fighting,

England was the
only nation That had escaped
Hitler's goosestepping  legions.

Up until this time, precious few victories
were realized by the Allies. 
They had managed to beat back German
forces in North Africa; and to secure a toehold on the
Italian Peninsula.
Soviet troops had finally
contained the German blitzkreig,
and were pushing Nazi forces back towards Poland;
but these few precious victories were
all won at the high cost of lives and material.

The Germans
Controlled all
of Europe in 1944
While the War raged
in Russia and Italy

1944 WAR ROOM MAP

gmap.JPG (487545 bytes)

White areas indicate
German control of European
and North African countries in 1940
German Victories shown as Red Explosions
on Countries Occupied by 1944 -

As fighting still raged in Russia and Italy
the stage for the most
difficult phase of World War II was being set...
the assault upon Fortress Europe. 

Fighting that was raging in Italy and Russia
were only diversionary tactics,
for even the lowest ranked GI knew,
that the liberation of Europe
would come only by
an ALL-OUT invasion from England
on the European Continent.

German troops by now had been in possession of
the French coast for four years; and
Hitler's most successful
general, Erwin Rommel,
waited for the invasion of American and
Allied forces from
across the English channel;

Rommel, better known as the"Desert Fox",
because of his brilliant North Africa Campaignin
in the early years of the war,
was thought to be the American's most
formidable foe if they invaded Europe.
 

Preparing for the
Invasion of Europe

By early summer of 1944, southern England had
become a huge armed camp.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans
and Allied troops were in place for the
"do or die" effort to free Europe
of the Nazi scourge.

Just WHEN it would take place, no one knew....

Did such a huge amphibious landing
have any chance against the German fortress?
What fortifications and surprises awaited an
invading Allied army?
American troops could only train and wait.

                       eisen.JPG (251698 bytes)                         
General Dwight Eisenhower
Supreme Commander of Allied Forces
prepares his American troops
just hours before the Invasion
of Normandy

The Air War prepares
the way for the
Invasion of Europe

The ground war for Europe,
would be launched by the

Invasion of Normandy
on June 6, 1944, but before the invasion,
there would be many acts
of heroism and sacrifice performed
in the Air War over Europe


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