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Leendert 11th September 2019 13:16

D-Day Landings 6 June 1944 - Barrage Balloons
 
Not sure if in right forum, but nonetheless a little question.

Was the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion the only such US unit on the Normandy beaches, covering both Utah and Omaha Beach?

This because the British had 4 balloon units operating: 976 RAF Beach Balloon Squadron (Sword), 974 (Juno) and 980 (Gold), plus 991 over the Arromanches Mulberry.

A guess: size of the respective units a factor?

Thanks for info.

Regards,

Leendert

RSwank 12th September 2019 03:19

Re: D-Day Landings 6 June 1944 - Barrage Balloons
 
Leendert,

From what I can find the 320th was the only US balloon unit at Normandy and members of the unit landed on both beaches. They used 3 men and a jeep for each balloon. The balloons were inflated in England and carried across the channel flying above the LST that carried the jeep. Each jeep had a winch to be used to raise and lower the balloon. The winch in the jeep was not the originally planned motorized 1/2 ton winch but rather a hand operated signal corps winch. It weighed only 35 lbs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman...Lci-convoy.jpg

The balloons were not the large balloons used over London, but were smallish ones with non-inflatable rigid tails and they could be handled by a small crew.

https://www.army.mil/article/119639/...ction_on_D_Day

https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/e...loon-battalion


There is a short video here which has a few scenes of what appear to be 320th men moving some balloons on the beaches. Unfortunately in one of those scenes the editors decides to also show some text which blocks some of the view. There are a couple of other non-related barrage balloon clips of entirely different types of balloons, apparently just "filler".

https://www.facebook.com/1stInfantry...92897524103473

Leendert 12th September 2019 19:02

Re: D-Day Landings 6 June 1944 - Barrage Balloons
 
Rolland,


Yes, conclusion must be that the 320th BB Bn was the only such US unit at Normandy.

No info found either that other (US) barrage balloon units were involved.
Thanks for help.


Regards,


Leendert


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