In July 1943 Operation Vesuvius (remember that codename) liberated Corsica from German occupation. After its capture the US used it as an air base and began using it as an unsinkable aircraft carrier right off the coast of France and Italy. The 340th Bomb Group was one of the units deployed, this seems to have been the inspiration for one of the units bombardiers, one Joseph Heller. Heller famously wrote the novel Catch-22. Life was pretty relaxed on the island with sunny beaches to relax on between missions. The 340th was based at two airfields: Borgo-Poretta and Alesani.
At 2200 the last of the flares appeared, the airfield was brightly lit, all the planes were clearly visible. Then came the first bomb. It was a canister of incendiaries which impacted in the middle of the field to act as a marker. Suddenly the air was filled with the sounds of Jumo engines, as the second wave of JU-88 bombers screamed in at 1200m altitude. The first wave had dropped the incendiaries. The second wave used high explosive bombs aiming for the aircraft. Suddenly a column of fire rose to several hundred meters, and formed a raging inferno, the bombs had hit the main fuel dump on the island. Then the night became still apart from the roar of flames as the Germans left.
http://www.warwingsart.com and http://www.reddog1944.com
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