"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
 Navy Spits
      VCS-7 In Normandy

 
Above:  In the company of some Norman cows, P-47 fighter-bombers of the 81st Fighter Squadron, 50th Fighter Group, of the U.S. 9th Tactical Air Force sit at Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) A-6 between missions. This strip was just inland from Utah Beach and became operational on June 14th. Of interest to us here is the VCS-7 Spitfire, "4G", BL729, which has been pushed aside after a wheels-up landing due to damage from enemy flak. The pilot was unharmed. Barely noticable, under the nose of the second P-47 in line, is a P-51 which met a similar fate.

Below:  A screen-capture from the documentary film "DZ Normandy" gives us a closer view of  "4G". The blunt "clipped" wingtip is of note. In the background, a C-47 tows out a Waco glider.
The following account by LT (jg) Charles S. Kinn of VCS-7 was published in the November, 1944 issue of FLYING magazine:

"The ship gave us a target - some troops, tanks and trucks concentrated on a road leading into Trevieres. We made one pass down to about 2,000 feet and found them. When I reported, our ship wanted to know for certain if they were enemy. On my second pass, I still couldn't make them out as they were mostly hidden among the trees. The ship told me to make a lower pass.
As we came over the target the sky was suddenly black with flak. My plane went out of control temporarily. I found I couldn't turn right or left because the controls were damaged. I called my wingman to tell him I was hit and would have to bail out. He cut in and said something, but it was only part of a sentence.
I found the plane would still fly and since I was headed for home I managed to pull through for a crash landing on an emergency field (back in England). It wasn't until I reached our operations room and saw my wingman's name ( LT R.W. Barclay) freshly scrubbed from the availability list that I knew what had happened."


Below:  A Flakpanzer IV "Möbelwagen", with a 3.7 cm gun, photographed in France on June 21st, 1944. The German forces had a variety of 2 and 3.7 cm AA guns, both mobile and towed, available to counter the Allied aircraft operating at low to medium altitudes.

Bottom:  "A PzKpfw IV, or rather what is left of it, from Panzer Lehr Regiment near
Audrieu (France). During the British attack of June 10, which was supported by large calibre naval guns, a shell must have scored a direct hit. The type can still be identified as an Ausf H by the small engine on the rear of the body." (IWM)

Although the exact location and the identification of the tank's unit, as stated in this photo's caption, have been questioned, the devastating effect of naval gunfire on enemy vehicles, including tanks, is indisputable.