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Lt. Ralph K "Kidd" Hofer, Salem, MO. 334th Fighter Squadron. The Kidd poses by Capt. Archie W Chatterley’s P-47C 41-6358 QP-G “California or Bust”. Hofer was flying this P-47 on his first combat mission on 8 October 43 when he shot down an Me109 over Zwolle, Holland.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...


  • Archie Chatterley

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter pilot
    Archie was from San Diego, California, and joined the 4th Fighter Group, 334th squadron on 20 January 1943. He flew a p-47 Thunderbolt named " California or Bust". His tour was not without incidents. ...

  • Ralph Hofer

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine
    Ralph Kidd Hofer was born Ralph Kidd Halbrook on a farm near Salem, Missouri, in 1921. Upon his father's death, when Ralph was only four, his mother remarried and his name was changed to Ralph Kidd Hofer. Eventually the name "Kidd" stuck with him...

  • James Wilkinson

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    James Wilkinson served with the 4th Fighter Group and then the 78th Fighter Group, flying missions from England. ...



    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Mid air collision with 41-6416 5 miles North of Castle Camps, pilot Archie W. Chatterley managed to land the damaged A/C. 27th April 43. 41-6146 was abandoned as tail was sliced off, pilot James W. Wilkinson injured when he bailed out but survived. ...

  • 41-6416

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Mid air collision with #416358 5 miles Nth of Castle Camps, pilot 1st Lt James W Wilkinson injured his spine bailing out. A/C destroyed. 27th April 43.


  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Date Contributor Update
25 March 2015 12:32:14 Al_Skiff Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations