THIS MONTH IN ADA HISTORY
6 June 1944, D-Day invasion, The First Army's 49th AAA Brigade orchestrated the protection of the landings. The 49th was commanded by one of the great men in air defense history, General "Big Ed" Timberlake. He planned for the initial air defense forces that came ashore on Omaha Beach to be balanced, half AW battalions and half 90mm battalions. On Utah Beach, the 11th AAA Brigade would support the assault with a much smaller force, including Battery B of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion.
The troop list also included the 81st Antitank, AAA Battalion, which was the organic air defense antitank capability in the 101st Airborne Division. The airborne divisions had one battalion with six batteries, three of which were antitank, three of which were air defense. AAA planners needed light air defense units to support the initial landings, and the 81st AAA filled the bill. The 82nd Airborne Division's air defense battalion, the 80th Antitank, AAA, jumped in with the 82nd behind enemy lines.