It was a Lancaster, flying from the airfield near the north Lincolnshire village, which was credited with dropping the very first bombs to mark the opening of Operation Overlord, an achievement which was later to be marked by a major award to the crew of Lancaster J-Jig Bad Penny II by the French government.
After taking off from North Killingholme Airfield as part of a force of 18 Lancaster Bombers from 550 Squadron, which joined other aircraft from neighbouring airfields at Kirmington, Elsham, Waltham and Binbrook in attacking the gun battery at Crisbecq , which posed a major threat to one of the Americans’ two landing beaches, Utah.
The plan was for 550 Squadron aircraft to lead the group of Lancasters from Lincolnshire in the attack. Leading the raid was 550’s relatively new commanding officer, Wing Commander Peter Connolly, but as they approached the target, J-Jig was at the head of the stream of Lancasters and, at precisely 26 minutes to midnight on June 5, its bombs fell on the massive battery on the Cherbourg peninsular.
Two other aircraft from 550 dropped their bombs seconds later and the remainder of the squadron dumped their high explosives on the German gun emplacements over the next two minutes.
All 18 aircraft returned safely to North Killingholme where it soon became apparent that the squadron had played a significant role in one of the most momentous military operations in history.
|Address||Lancaster Approach, Immingham, North Lincolnshire DN40 3LX, UK|
|Site Ownership and Access Information||The site is not accessible to the general public; The site is currently home to an industrial park.|
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