During the night 5 - 6 june 1944 (mission Albany), the plane, piloted by 2nd lieutenant James P. Harper and marked with Chalk number** 88 in a formation of 90 aircraft, is the lead plane of the last 'V' of serial 15. For this operation the 43-15073, with eight other planes from 95th, 96th et 97th Squadrons of 440th Troop Carrier Group (3 planes per Squadron) is transferred to Merryfield on 09th may 1944 and temporaly assigned to the 441st T.C.G. (Special order #83, Hq 440th T.C.G). On D-Day they form up the last wave in serial 15, mainly composed from planes of 301st and 302nd T.C.S. (441st TCG). Aircrews of these 9 planes are unhappy to have been removed from their usual unit and, to express it, they paint along with the invasion stripes an "eight ball" on the nose of each plane. This representation of the pool table (you must not touch this ball or you loose the game) reflects the difficult position in which they find themselves, having lost their usual bearings.

The C-47 # 43-15073 take-off from Merryfield at 23:49 and drop at 01:34, south of Sainte-Mere-Eglise (drop zone "D" near Angoville-au-Plain) a stick of 18 paratroopers (probably from F Company) from the 2nd battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (101st Airborne Division) which land in the southeastern part of the DZ near Basse-Addeville. The plane comes back with battle damages. A .30 caliber hole in the center of the fuselage going through the belly and out the top. Also a .30 caliber hole in the left wing. Nevertheless, she make her way back to the base where she landed shortly after 03:00 on 6 june.
On 6 june, by Special Order #75, Hq 441st Troop Carrier Group, she, and the eight other planes and personnels, is transferred back to the 440th Troop Carrier Group.
On 7 june, due to battle damages received on D-day, the aircraft was scratched from Mission Memphis. The aircrew flew the mission on another plane, the 42-92914 to drop supplies and ammunitions to the 101st Airborne on Drop Zone "E".

**Chalk number: Number written near the door and related to the number of the stick of paratroopers carried during the mission.

* Her crew during Operation NEPTUNE

PILOT

2nd Lieutenant James P. HARPER
O-681080

Corona - California

CO-PILOT

2nd Lieutenant Luther J. LIZANA
O-753378

Gulfport - Mississippi

 

NAVIGATOR

2nd Lieutenant Murray J. WINTER
O-701396

Brookland - New York

  

RADIO-OPERATOR

Sergeant Joseph R. BUCKNER
38411772

Baytown - Texas

 

CREW CHIEF

S/Sergeant Howard F. LINDSLEY
12198403

Martville - New York




Special Order #83 - 440th T.C.G - 9 May 1944
Field order N°1 - 441st T.C.G - 3 June 1944
Merryfield airfield - parking diagram - 2 June 1944
Route to Normandy - Mission Albany - 441st T.C.G
Individual Flight Record - James P. HARPER - June 1944
© Merville Dakota 2007 - 2017