Lefty wrote:.. I think you (for whatever reason) are projecting a slightly jaundiced view of C47’s and their pilots. Most of whom performed with bravoury and distinction.
Indeed. However, I have heard a US military historian adduce as a possible reason for the US 'misdrops' the fact that, for most of the USAAC Transport pilots in the European theatre, this was their first flight into 'hostile skies'; or, indeed, at night since leaving the US. Their fighter and bomber brethren, and their RAF equivalents, were well used to such, of course. The US C47s, thitherto used only for intra-UK liaison and training, were deliberately kept in the Midlands and North until the eve of D-Day. Only then were they deployed South, under radio silence, refuelling at 5 MU at Kemble (~1,000 extra movements on 5 June), and flying on to their launch fields. This was all part of the deception, including radio deception, operation (FORTITUDE). There they met the Airborne units they would be carrying for the first time. This was unlike the RAF C47 crews, who had rehearsed with their troops (in the North) before D-Day, rehearsals which included the emphasis on accurately identifying DZs.
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