C-47 'Chalk 40' on D-Day

C-47A 43-15137 was assigned to the 306th Troop Carrier Squadron (TCS) 442nd Troop Carrier Group (TCG) 50th Troop Carrier Wing (TCW) IX Troop Carrier Command, Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Fulbeck England (also known as USAAF station 488). The 442nd TCG comprised of the 303rd TCS - Nose Code J7, 304th TCS - Nose Code V4, 305th TCS - Nose Code 4J and the 306th TCS - Nose Code 7H.

On June 6th 1944 C-47A 43-15137 was assigned the Airborne "Chalk" number 40. The "Chalk" number was the number assigned to each aircraft during an operation and literally written on the side of the aircraft next to the jump door in white chalk. On C-47A 43-15137, the number assigned was "40". 1st Lt. Buckley A. Maynard O-529480 with is his crew, Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Elmer W. Ambler O-816197, Navigator 2nd Lt. Donald J. Markey O-697797, Flight Engineer SSgt. Francis A. Kline Jr 13145545 and Radio Operator Sgt. Vernon F. Coss 17098809 took off under Mission "Boston", Serial 26 for Operation Overlord - the invasion of Normandy France.

The 306th TCS formation comprised of 9 aircraft on June 6th 1944. The first "V" was formed by Chalk 37, piloted by Major Royal S. Thompson, Chalk 38 by 2nd Lt. Billy Imboden Jr and Chalk 39 by 1st Lt. Cornell C. Houston. The second "V" formation was lead by C-47A 43-15137. Her sister aircraft were Chalk 41 piloted by 2nd Lt. Douglas H. Lippe and Chalk 42 by 2nd Lt. Thomas H. Mills. The last "V" in the entire formation of Serial 26 was led by Chalk 43, piloted by 1st Lt. James M. Myers, Chalk 44 by 1st Lt. Ardall C. Tiedeman and Chalk 45 by 2nd Lt. William J. McCormick Jr. Only the lead plane in each "V" was crewed by a Navigator. This was done due to a shortage of Navigators available in the 306th TCS on June 6th 1944.

The 306th TCS was responsible for carrying all of "B" Company, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

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