Mission Bluebird

For this mission the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing has two of its Troop Carrier Groups. This is the 435th TCG which is at Tarquinia airfield (300th AT & 64th Arty) and the 436th TCG at Voltone airfield (64th Arty & 512th Abn. Sig. Co.).

The 35 Horsa gliders of the 435th TCG piloted by British pilots take off from Tarquinia between 05h18 and 5h50. They carry 233 soldiers from Major Potter's 300th Antitank Air Landing Battery, part of Major Duncan's 64th British Light Artillery Battery and 35 Jeeps, 30 guns and 31,378 rounds on the LZ (Landing Zone) O.

Due to a major fog on the LZ O at 8 o'clock, the aircraft turn around and land at Tarquinia. Indeed, the C-47s can not afford to lose too much time in flight because they consume a lot of fuel when towing the gliders. Two Horsa gliders are dropped in Corsica due to mechanical problems on the C-47. The mission is postponed to 17:50, ten minutes before the Canary and Dove missions of the evening.

Next comes the CG4-A gliders, towed by the 436th Troop Carrier Group. Of the 40 Wacos planned, only 37 Wacos CG4-A left. They take off from Voltone from 5:58 am and carry the remainder of the 64th British Light Artillery Battery and a contingent of the 1st ABTF HQ backed by elements of the 512th Airborne Signal Company. The fog becoming less dense, the Wacos are finally dropped at 9:26, an hour later than expected. 33 of the 37 CG4-A arrive on the LZ O.

The airborne assault of the 512th is on three Serial on D-Day from 5:25 am. The first group of gliders landed near Le Mitan at about 09:00, with little opposition and relatively little incident, despite Rommel asparagus planted in the ground all over the landing area. Only one of the gliders of the 512th did not land that morning, on board was Major James. The towing cable between the C-47 and the glider is cut above the Mediterranean Sea, which forces the glider to ditch. All its occupants are recovered by the US Navy. These men will participate in the Dove Mission scheduled for the afternoon of August 15th.

3 other gliders are missing:

- A glider landed away from the LZ.
- A C-47 returns to Italy with his Waco after mistakenly following the Horsa gliders turning around.
- A glider disintegrated over the sea following a rupture of the fuselage.

On the LZ, the equipment and the men on board the Wacos CG4-A bring powerful radio and new artillery pieces to the staff of the 1st ABTF. The radios, now operational in Mitan, allow General Frederick to coordinate the various missions to come.

After the failure of the Serial 14 in the Bluebird mission for the Horsa gliders, the 435th TCG left Tarquinia at 15:04 with again 35 Horsa gliders and their British pilots. The first Horsa dropped in Corsica in the morning is recovered and participates in the mission just as the Waco returned in error in Italy. After a smooth flight, the 37 gliders landed on the LZ O at 17:49. The 300th Antitank Air Landing Battery is in an anti-tank position and forms a roadblock. The second Horsa, dropped in Corsica on the 15th in the morning, is recovered the next day on August 16th and dropped on the LZ O at 11:01.