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Old 12th September 2019, 04:19
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: D-Day Landings 6 June 1944 - Barrage Balloons


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.

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.

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".

Last edited by RSwank; 12th September 2019 at 04:51.
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