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8th Air Force FO 255 BOMBER ESCORT

29 February 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 554 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despacthed to provide fighter escort for heavy bombers attacking at Brunswick, Germany. The 357FG begins its transition from P-47s to P-51s. Mission Summary follows:

A combined force of 61 P-38s from 20FG & 55FG are despatched. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA 1POW. 1 aircraft is damaged. There are no other losses, claims or casualties in this element.

A combined force of 346 P-47s are despatched. 8th Air Force: 56FG; 352FG; 355FG; 356FG; 359FG; and 361FG. IX Fighter Command 358FG and 361FG also join the escort. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1POW. 1 aircraft is damaged. The fighters in this element claim 1-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

A combined force of 147 P-51s is despatched. 8th Air Force 4FG and 357FG. IX Fighter Command 345FG and 363FG also join the escort. 1 IX FC aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1POW. There are no other losses, claims or casualties.

Mission details

1. Brunswick

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

The pilot of one of the Missing in Action (MIA) P-38s from 20th Fighter Group was actually assigned to the 364th Fighter Group.

Units

  • 20th Fighter Group

    20th Fighter Group

    Group
    In August 1943, the 20th Fighter Group arrived in Clyde, Scotland, before travelling to Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, which was to be their base for the rest of the war. The Group flew 312 missions before their last mission on 25 April 1945. The...

  • 55th Fighter Group

    55th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped Not Applicable
Number of aircraft Sent 61
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

2. Brunswick

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

358th Fighter Group and 362nd Fighter Group from IX Fighter Command contribute P-47s for escort. VIII Fighter Command and IX Fighter Command despatch bundled. Losses are those of VIII Fighter Command.

Units

  • 352nd Fighter Group

    352nd Fighter Group

    Group
    The 352nd Fighter Group were based at Bodney, Norfolk from July 1943 until November 1945 but in the winter months of 1944/1945 detachments moved to bases in Belgium to provide extra air support to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge and to...

  • 355th Fighter Group

    355th Fighter Group

    Group
    Where the 353rd Fighter Group had pioneered ground strafing techniques, it was the 355th Fighter Group who destroyed more enemy aircraft by ground strafing than any other Eighth Air Force Group. Based at Steeple Morden from July 1943 to July 1945, the...

  • 356th Fighter Group

    356th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 356th Fighter Group flew 413 missions between 15 October 1943 and 7 May 1945 and suffered the highest ratio of losses to enemy aircraft claims of any Eighth Air Force Group. This gave the Group the reputation of being the 'hard luck' outfit. The...

  • 358th Fighter Group

    358th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 358th Fighter Group flew seventeen missions with the Eighth Air Force from Leiston air base. At the beginning of February 1944 the Group were transferred to the Ninth Air Force in exchange for the 357th Fighter Group. With the Ninth, the Group went...

  • 359th Fighter Group

    359th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 359th Fighter Group flew 346 missions from East Wretham between December 1943 and April 1945. In the main these missions were escorting bombers flying over occupied Europe. The Group, soon after converting from Thunderbolts to Mustangs, were...

  • 361st Fighter Group

    361st Fighter Group

    Group
    The 361st Fighter Group was the last P-47 Thunderbolt Group to join the Eighth Air Force. Between 21 January 1944 and 20 April 1945, the Group flew 441 missions, the majority in an escort role in support of bombers flying over occupied Europe. The...

  • 56th Fighter Group

    56th Fighter Group

    Group
    Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...

  • 362nd Fighter Squadron

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 346
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

3. Brunswick

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

354th Fighter Group and 363th Fighter Group from IX Fighter Command contribute P-51s for escort. 8th Air Force and IX Fighter Command despatch bundled.

Units

  • 354th Fighter Group

    354th Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group moved to England in the autumn of 1943 and was assigned to the Ninth Air Force in December 1943. The Group were the first to fly P-51 Mustangs operationally and in their bomber escort missions pushed to find the long-range limits of the...

  • 357th Fighter Group

    357th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 357th Fighter Group was the first P-51 Mustang Group in the Eighth Air Force, training with them from November 1943 at Raydon, England and entering combat with them in the February of the following year from their new base at Leiston. The Group was...

  • 363rd Fighter Group

    363rd Fighter Group

    Group
    Equipped with P-51s, the Group entered combat from England in February 1944, flying bomber escort and ground-strafing missions. They took part in the invasion of Normandy, protecting gliders and troop carriers on 6 and 7 June. In September 1944, now...

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 147
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2016 23:09:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Feb-2016. Made connection to IX FC unit and added 1MIA AC and 1 POW to statistics of P-51 element per "Losses of the 8thy & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2016 23:06:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Feb-2016. Made connections to IX FC units and added claims on enemy aircraft to P-47 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2016 23:04:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narratvie based on "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2014 09:42:16 Emily Changes to event
Sources

Moved pins from Brunswick, US to Braunschweig, Germany

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:14 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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