September 20, 2016

2761 The air route of the Screaming Eagles in D-Day

2761 The air route of the Screaming Eagles in D-Day,
the insignia of the 101st Airborne Division,
and MP4 (a fortification on the Guernsey Island)

The first United States combat operations during Operation Overlord (the invasion of Normandy by the Western Allies on June 6, 1944 during WWII) were the airborne landings. Around 13,100 American paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions made night parachute drops early on D-Day, followed by 3,937 glider troops flown in by day. As the opening maneuver of Operation Neptune (the assault operation for Overlord) the American airborne divisions were delivered to the continent in two parachute and six glider missions.

This was also the first combat operation of the 101st Airborne Division (The Screaming Eagles). The specific missions of the airborne divisions were to block approaches into the vicinity of the amphibious landing at Utah Beach, to capture causeway exits off the beaches, and to establish crossings over the Douve River at Carentan to assist the U.S. V Corps in merging the two American beachheads. The assault did not succeed in blocking the approaches to Utah for three days. Numerous factors played a part, most of which dealt with excessive scattering of the drops.

As the assault force approached the French coast, it encountered fog and antiaircraft fire, which forced some of the planes to break formation. The first riposte of the Germans forces was above the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney), the German anti-aircraft gunners stationed on them opening fire, but to little avail. Actually, the fortifications built after the occupation of the Channel Islands by Wehrmacht forces in 1940, were of little use.

Unique in design, and probably the most well-known structure on the Atlantic Wall, MP4 served the same purpose as the round naval range-finding towers on the Channel Islands. Built on five levels, each level was to have served one of the five naval gun batteries planned for the island. In the event only three naval batteries arrived, and the two other levels were given over to the army for their batteries. In the latter part of the war a Freya radar was mounted on the roof.

American airborne landings in Normandy - Wikipedia
The 101st Airborne during World War II - The U.S. Airborne during World War II
MP4, L'Angle Tower - Festung Guernsey

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Panoramic Views of Gibraltar, designed by Stephen Perera (after the illustration and photography of Charles Cruz and J. E. Escudero), and issued on October 1, 2007:
• 0.40 GIP
• 0.42 GIP - It's on the postcard 2761
• 0.55 GIP
• 0.78 GIP

The second stamp is part of the series Old Views of Gibraltar, designed by Stephen Perera and issued on September 16, 2009, as joint issue of SEPAC.
• Road to the frontier (0.10 GIP)
• Catalan Bay village (0.42 GIP)
• The Rock of Gibraltar (0.44 GIP) - It's on the postcard 2761
• The Moorish Castle (0.51 GIP)
• South Barracks (0.59 GIP)

Sender: Denise
Bought from World Stamp Show-NY 2016 (Javis Center, New York City, United States) and sent from Gibraltar

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