21 April 1944


Serial 00144


  (a) The Commander-in-Chief, Allied Expeditionary Air Force, at Allied Expeditionary Air Force Headquarters, Stanmore, will coordinate strategic and tactical air operations.
  (b) Tactical control will be exercised by the Tactical Air Force Commander at Allied Tactical Air Force Headquarters, Uxbridge.
  (c) NINTH U.S. Army Air Force and British Second Tactical Air Force combined will be employed as one Tactical Air Force in support of Surface Forces as directed by Headquarters, Allied Tactical Air Forces.
  (d) During the early phases of the assault, direct control of supporting air units will be exercised by the Tactical Air Force Commander through the Combined Control Center at Uxbridge. NINTH Air Force Air Representatives in Task Force and Assault Force Flagships, Fighter Director Officers in Fighter Director Ships, and Air Support Parties with Assault Forces will exercise certain control functions as indicated in paragraph 2, 3, and 4 of this Annex.
  (e) Task Force and Assault Force Flagships and Combined Headquarters, Plymouth, will keep informed of the air situation by monitoring Air radio channels as indicated in Communications Plan Annex "L".
  (f) Naval and Military commanders will be embarked in Flagships as indicated below:
Task Force Flagship - USS AUGUSTA
  Naval Commander, Western Task Force.
Commanding General First U.S. Army.
Assault Force Flagship, Force O - USS ANCON
  Naval Commander Force O
Commanding General VI Corps
Commanding General 1 Division
Assault Force Flagship, Force U - USS BAYFIELD
  Naval Commander Force U
Commanding General VII Corps
Commanding General 4 Division

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  (a) Air representatives of the Commanding General NINTH Air Force and the Commanding General IX Tactical Air Command, will be embarked in the Flagship of Naval Commander Western Task Force and Assault Force Commanders, as follows:
Task Force Flagship NCWTF: Colonel P. Cole
Assault Force Flagship, Force O: Colonel L. N. Tindal
Task Force Flagship, Force U: Colonel J. F. Taylor
  (b) Air Representatives in Flagships have the following responsibilities:
    (i) Keeping the tactical Air Force Commanders in the United Kingdom informed of the military and naval Commanders' intentions and requirements.
    (ii) Giving air advice to the Military Commander on board.
    (iii) Giving air advice to the Naval Commander on board.
    (iv) Relaying calls, if necessary, for air support received from Air Support Parties ashore.
    (v) Re-briefing or re-directing, if necessary, the aircraft which arrive in response to calls for support, or in accordance with a set program.
    (vi) Requesting additional Tac/R as required by the Division Commander.
    (vii) Re-directing this Tac/R, if necessary, or arrival, and receiving R/T reports fro Tac/R aircraft if these are being made direct.
    (viii) Representing to the Fighter Director Ship or to the Tactical Air Force Commanders in the United Kingdom the adequacy or inadequacy of the air cover provided.
    (ix) Representing to the Admiral commanding the Naval Forces the requirements of the Fighter Director Ships as regards anchorage, etc. within the Admiral's area of responsibility.
    (x) The visual direction of Fighters on request from the Fighter Direction Ship.

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  (a) Three Fighter Director Ships (converted LSTs) will be employed to control fighter cover during the assault phase. One will operate in the Western Assault Area, one in the Eastern Assault Area, and one in the Convoy Area. These ships will take position so as to best perform the functions of fighter direction, paying due regard to advice from the Naval Commander of the particular Area concerning positioning for safety and protection from mine fields, shipping, and enemy surface and air attack.
  (b) Fighter Director Officers, operating under orders of the Combined Control Center, are responsible for the fighter cover provided over the area assigned, and may delegate control to other surface ships equipped for fighter direction. The USS ANCON and USS BAYFIELD will act as relief Fighter Director Ships in the order named.
  (a) NINTH Air Force will attach Air Support Party to each Regimental Combat Team in its initial assault. These parties will remain with the RCT's until their parent divisions are established on the far shore. At that time each ASP will assume its normal function with respect to the Division (Corps) to which it will be attached. Parties landing with the assault teams will be equipped with vehicular mounted radio equipment capable of operating on both HF and VHF, and will provide the means for procuring direct air support. ASPs will not communicate with aircraft unless specifically authorized, or except in emergencies to warn aircraft attacking own troops or wrong target. No naval personnel are included in these parties.
  (a) Requests for air support originating with Combat Teams on the far shore will be transmitted direct to Uxbridge by the Air Support Party attached. Such requests will be monitored and, if necessary,

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    relayed by Assault Force and Task Force Flagships. Requests originating in the Assault Force and Task Force Flagships will be given to the Air Representative embarked and transmitted direct to Uxbridge; those originating in the Assault Force Flagships being monitored by the Task Force Flagship.
  (b) Assault Force Flagships may indicate to Uxbridge approval or disapproval of requests originating with Combat Teams. Task Force Flagships may indicate approval or disapproval of requests originating both with Combat Teams and in Assault Force Flagships.
  (a) Fighters with escort Fighter/Bomber, Bomber and Airborne forces and cover shipping during the hours of daylight. Fighter cover will also be provided over the assault area at an average strength of ten squadrons (i.e. five squadrons each both British and United States Beach areas), and approximately five squadrons over the convoys during the hours of daylight. This cover will be in three levels; Low, medium and high. Ordinarily low cover operates between the altitudes of 5000 and 8000 feet, medium cover between 15,000 and 20,000 feet, high cover between 25,000 and 32,000 feet. The strength of our fighter patrols operating over the beaches and shipping lanes will be varied by the Air Commander-in-Chief from time to time, dependent on the air situation. At least six squadrons of fighters will always be ready to meet emergencies.
  (b) In addition to the day fighter cover, night fighters will be assigned for the beach and transport areas and convoy lanes. There will be an overlap of night and day cover of approximately 40 minutes at dusk. GCI equipment will be landed on D-Day to direct night fighters. Night fighters will be directed by GCI equipment in Fighter Director Ships until such time as GCI equipment is set up and operational on the far shore.
  (a) Most of the air support given will be by operations planned several hours in advance of performance. Task Force and Assault Force Flagships should request such support prior to 1800 on the day preceding the day support is required.

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  (b) Direct Support aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft will report to the appropriate Flagships when five minutes flying time from the Assault Area and also on completion of the mission.
  (c) Aircraft on "ground alert" and, as available, aircraft on "air alert" will be held in readiness to furnish air support on short notice during the day. Missions performed by aircraft on "ground alert" can be delivered in a minimum time of two hours after being requested. Missions performed by aircraft on "air alert" can be delivered in a matter of a few minutes.
  (d) Direct support missions will be performed by Fighter\Bombers and medium bombers. Fighter/Bombers are capable of carrying two 500 pound H.E. bombs, or smaller anti-personnel bombs to the weight of 1000 pounds. Medium bombers are capable of carrying a bomb load up to 4000 pounds, i.e. Two 2000 pound, four 1000 pound, eight 500 pound, fourteen 250 pound or thirty 100 pound bombs. Medium bombers and fighter bombers may be expected to attack semi-open and open installations, communication centers, headquarters, tank concentrations, enemy aircraft harassing our troops, concentrations of enemy troops, enemy reserves moving on highways or across fields, and other targets of opportunity.
  (a) The over-riding commitment in the assault phase will be the gaining and maintaining of air superiority. Subject to this, the maximum possible effort will be made available during the period, night of D-1/D day and subsequently as necessary for the task of assisting the Navy to neutralize the coast defenses, help the land forces in their initial occupation of the bridge-head, and delay the arrival of the enemy's reserves and reinforcements. These roles will call for night and day bombing.
  (b) Attacks on enemy reinforcements will be pre-arranged bombing of special key points. In addition a proportion of the bomber effort will be held in readiness to engage targets of opportunity.

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  (c) Coast artillery and field batteries will be engaged by naval and air bombardment of selected points in the defenses.
  (d) The assault will be immediately preceded by pre-arranged naval and air bombardment of selected points in beach defenses, Air bombardment will continue until the touchdown.
  (e) The following positions have been selected for pre-arranged air bombardment. The list is subject to change as additional positions and strong points are reported through intelligence channels:
    (i) Coast Defense Battery Positions:
Battery Number Description Location Coordinates
First Army 21st Army Group
1 A4 6-155 G Pointe De Hoe 586938
1A - 4-170 G La Fernelle 365200
2 A1 4-240 G Carneville 265267
3 A3 6-155 G Fontenay Sur Mer 368044
4 A2 6-155 G Morsalines 354139
5 B4 4-155 H Maisy 533918
6 B2 6-155 H St. Martin De Varreville 405980
8 O2 6-155 G Gatteville 392277
8A - 4-Med or HV Gatteville 394228
9 B1 4-105 GH Emondeville 360022
    (ii) Beach Defense Localities:
Beach OMAHA:
(1) Two mission localities - 648917, 655912, 666906, 668903, 678896, 688895, 699891.
(2) One mission localities - 623935, 637930, 645919, 664907, 676899, 694893.
Beach UTAH:
(1) Two mission localities - 456953, 448958, 451969, 442972, 442982, 435992.
(2) One mission localities - 429000, 423009, 418017, 493904, 505916, 538934, 545933, 448914.
  (f) Heavy night bombardment will commence at Civil Twilight minus four and a half hours and will continue until Civil Twilight minus one hour. Bombardment of the beach will commence at H-30 minutes and continue up until touchdown.

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  (a) All spotting aircraft will be pooled and will operate, as far as possible, from Lee-On-Solent. Their employment will be under the authority of Commander Allied Tactical Air Force and Allied Naval commander Expeditionary Forces.
  (b) Should it become necessary to re-allocate spotting aircraft within a Task Force, the authority will be the Naval Task Force Commander via Allied Tactical Air Force Headquarters.
  (c) Should it become necessary to re-allocate spotting aircraft from one Task Force to another, the authority will be Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force via Allied Tactical Air Force Headquarters.
  (d) Task Force Commanders are to allocate groups of aircraft to Assault Forces and issue the necessary instructions to Assault Force Commanders regarding the detailing of ships to aircraft.
  (e) Each spotting aircraft will be briefed by Tactical Air Force on two targets per sortie. Ships and aircraft are at all times free to carry out impromptu shoots if more profitable targets than those on which the pilot has been briefed present themselves.
  (f) Should Assault Force Commanders require succeeding sorties to be briefed on different targets, they are to make such requests to Allied Tactical Air Force Headquarters, with information to Task Force Commander and Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force, giving the particulars of the new target and the group number of aircraft affected. Tactical Air Force Headquarters or Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force will make the necessary arrangements with Tactical Air Force.
  (g) Assault Force Commanders will by despatch, to Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force, Information Task Force Commander, make known their requirements for spotting aircraft for the following day as early as practicable on the previous evening. Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force will inform them to what extent their requirements can be met.

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  (a) Tactical Air Forces will be responsible for meeting the tactical reconnaissance required by their associated armies and naval forces (and later army groups). They will call upon Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Air Force for any assistance required with strategical reconnaissance.
  (b) Reconnaissance missions will be flown on D-day and subsequently on request. It will not be possible to make plane to ship drops of reconnaissance photographs.

Two squadrons of Boston (A.20) aircraft will be available to screen the flanks of the assault area with smoke should this prove necessary. (See appendix 3 of Annex C).


The Commander-in-Chief, Home Commands will continue to be responsible for the co-ordination of coastal air operations. They will arrange these operations with associated air formations to give early warning of, and protection from, enemy surface forces, U-boat and midget U-boat attack. The zone within which coastal command aircraft will not normally operate has been defined as the area within a line, PORTLAND-JERSEY, and a line NORTH FORELAND-CALAIS.

  (a) One airborne division under command of First U.S> Army will land in the area behind the MADELEINE beaches (425005 to 455960) prior to H-hour on D-day with the main object of assisting the seaborne landing. A second airborne division will land on D+1 just north of LA HAYE DU PUITS in the CONTENTIN Peninsula. The troop carrier aircraft will be composed of C-47 type aircraft, gliders and a few Albermarle aircraft.
  (b) The track of the troop carrier aircraft will be a path ten miles wide extending from Bill of Portland to a marker boat bearing 203° true distance 47 miles from Bill of Portland; thence to a point on the CONTENTIN Peninsula bearing 121° true from the marker boat. The track over

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    and return will be the same.Aircraft will fly at a minimum of 500 feet altitude going over and at 1000 feet altitude returning. The first aircraft of the first airborne division is, at present, scheduled to pass over Bill of Portland at H-4:57 on D-1/D, and the first aircraft of the second division 24 hours later. There will be a continuous stream of troop carrier aircraft across the channel and return for a period of approximately eight hours after each of the two departures from Bill of Portland.
  (a) The operation of all surface craft employed on Air-Sea Rescue duties will continue, as at present, to be the responsibility of the appropriate Commander-in-Chief, Home Command.
  (b) Flag Officer, British Assault Area and Flag Officer, West will assume the responsibility for any rescue craft which become based within the area of their commands at a later stage in the operation.
  (c) All naval forces must realize that owing ti the scope of the air operations taking place, the resources of the Air-Sea Rescue Service will be strained to meet the requirements made on them. A sharp lookout is to be kept for waterborne airmen and all possible assistance rendered to them.
  (d) Walrus and Sea Otter aircraft may be expected to fly in the vicinity of shipping while engaged in rescue work.
  (a) A high standard of aircraft recognition is expected from all naval forces taking part in the operation.
  (b) The possibility of the enemy operating captured allied aircraft of all types under his own or false markings must be borne in mind.
  (c) Aircraft will use recognition signals appropriate for the period of the day set forth in "RECOGNITION SIGNALS for AIRCRAFT" (World-wide). Use of pyrotechnic and other recognition signals of this system is specified

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    in Air Ministry document SD-158, Part 1 and 4 under title: "Routing, Recognition and Identification of Aircraft"; also in British Admiralty documents S.P. 02440 ("Numbered Index Columns") and S.P. 02442 ("Basic Key Memorandum No. 2"), which describes pyrotechnic and recognition light signals for the period of the day.
  (d) The Air Commander-in-Chief, AEAF, may order special marks, smoke and pyrotechnic signals as deemed necessary, provided they do not conflict with those described in above paragraphs. Information about such special marks and signals will be promulgated by Air Commander-in-Chief, AEAF both to SHAEF and to Army Groups and ANCXF, at least 96 hours in advance of their effective period, to allow for dissemination of orders and equipment to the lowest formations concerned.
  (e) Recognition and identification procedure, ship to air and air to ship, is laid down in the following documents held by all major war vessels, and in extract from minor vessels:
    (i) S.P. 02440 and S.P. 02442 (Basic Key Memorandum No. 2), carried by all major vessels,
    (ii) S.P. 02312 (Air/Sea Recognition), prescribing procedure to be used by ships and aircraft).
  (f) Organizations and elements operating radar equipment are to use radar identification methods wherever feasible. Proper radar identification signals are to be accepted as proof of friendly nature of aircraft/ships. Absence of such signals is not to be accepted as evidence of hostility without further proof. Rules for use of radar identification are defined in Air Ministry Publication S.D. 158, Part 4 and Naval Publication C.B. 04092/44.

Except for troop carrier aircraft, those engaged in combat, those engaged in air-sea rescue, and those landing or taking off from landing strips along the beach, friendly aircraft will avoid flying below 3000 feet over ships.


Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy,
Naval Commander Western Task Force.


Flag Secretary.


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