Normandy Typhoon shockwave
An RAF Hawker Typhoon ground attack fighter from 193 Squadron races away from the shockwave of the second of its two 1,000lb bombs exploding on a German troop position in Normandy in June 1944. Others dive to complete the attack, called in support of the British 3rd Infantry Division's attempt to break out of the Sword beachhead and take the strategically important town of Caen.
Unseasonably wretched weather hampered the Allied invasion, but on the days when flying was possible, 193 was typical of the Typhoon squadrons deployed in support of the ground forces in flying multiple sorties - often armed reconnaissance rather than a pre-planned operation, hitting targets of opportunity and preventing almost all enemy troop movements during daylight. The pilots often had to brave concentrations of light and heavy anti-aircraft fire in pressing home their attacks.
The squadron's operations record book for 15 June, for example, notes in part: "At 2015 hours eight of 'A' flight aircraft took off to bomb a bivouac of enemy MT [motor transport], tanks and troops near Tilly ... with good results seen by pilots. F/Lt Switzer was hit by flak and forced landed on a landing strip and reported he was OK."