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8th Air Force FO 257 BOMBER ESCORT

2 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Two separate fighter operations are utilized to escort the two heavy bomber operations attacking at Frankfurt, Germany and Chartres, France.

The first operation is a despatch of 589 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51. 33 P-38s from 364FG are despatched on their first combat operation escorting the heavy bombers attacking at Frankfurt, Germany. 1 aircraft is damaged. There are no losses, casualties or claims in this element.

445 P-47s are despatched to escort the heavy bombers attacking at Frankfurt, Germany. 8th Air Force: 56FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; 359FG; and 361FG these are joined by IX Fighter Command: 358FG; 362FG and 365FG. 1 8th Air Force aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1 POW. 1 aircraft from IX FC 365FG Failed to Return (FTR) 1EVD. 7 aircraft are damaged. The fighters of this element claim 13-2-3 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

111 P-51s are despatched from: 4FG and 357FG to escort the heavy bombers attacking at Frankfurt, Germany. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA. 2 aircraft are damaged. The fighters in this element claim 4-0-1 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

The second fighter operation is the despatch of 281 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 to escort the heavy bombers attacking at Chartres, France. 89 P-38s from 20FG & 55FG are despatched. 1 aircraft with battle damage is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) is a crash landing upon return - 1RTD. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

145 P-47s are despatched. 8th Air Force: 78FG; IX Fighter Command: 362FG and 365FG. There are no losses, casualties or claims in this element.

P-51 despatch is all from IX Fighter Command and detailed under another title.

Mission details

1. CHARTRES

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

Not yet known

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

Number of aircraft Sent 89
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1

2. CHARTRES

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

362nd Fighter Group and 365th Fighter Group from IX Fighter Command contribute an undetermined number of P-47s to the escort. Number sent includes this complement. Losses and claims are only those of 8th Air Force.

Units

  • 362nd Fighter Group

    362nd Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group trained in P-47s and moved to England in November 1943. Arriving earlier than many other Ninth Air Force fighter groups, the pilots main occupation was escort work for heavy bombers. The Group's first mission on 8 February 1944 was one...

  • 365th Fighter Group

    365th Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group moved to England in December 1943 as part of the Ninth Air Force. Flying P-47s, the Group took part in missions over northern France designed to weaken Germany's ability to repulse the planned Allied invasion of summer 1944. After the...

  • 78th Fighter Group

    78th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 78th Fighter Group was initially based at Goxhill but moved to Duxford in April 1943 and stayed there until October 1945. The 78th FG flew each of the three US built principal fighters of the AAF in the ETO. In their Thundetbolts, the 78th FG ...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 145

3. FRANKFURT

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 364th Fighter Group

    364th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 364th Fighter Group flew 342 missions in P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs from Honington, Suffolk. The missions ranged from escorting bombers and dive-bombing and strafing targets to area patrol missions across a swathe of land that took in France...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 33
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 1

4. FRANKFURT

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

358th Fighter Group, 362nd Fighter Group and 365th Fighter Group from IX Fighter Command contribute and undetermined number of P-47s to the escort. Number sent includes this complement. Losses and claims are only those of 8th Air Force.

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...

  • 353rd Fighter Group

    353rd Fighter Group

    Group
    The 353rd Fighter Group was assigned to the Eighth Air Force on 7 June 1943. The group flew P-47 Thunderbolts, and from October 1944, P-51 Mustangs, as escorts for bombing missions across occupied Europe and to strafe targets on the ground. Tactical...

  • 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...

  • 362nd Fighter Group

    362nd Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group trained in P-47s and moved to England in November 1943. Arriving earlier than many other Ninth Air Force fighter groups, the pilots main occupation was escort work for heavy bombers. The Group's first mission on 8 February 1944 was one...

  • 365th Fighter Group

    365th Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group moved to England in December 1943 as part of the Ninth Air Force. Flying P-47s, the Group took part in missions over northern France designed to weaken Germany's ability to repulse the planned Allied invasion of summer 1944. After 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 445
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 13
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

5. FRANKFURT

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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...

  • 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 111
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

Service

People

  • Robert Kinsey

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Robert Sylvester Kinsey Born April 1 1924 in Oklahoma's Osage Indian Reservation in Hominy Oklahoma to Robert S. Kinsey and Olive Forsythe. His father worked for the Train Company in the Oil Fields. Later moved to Atchison Kansas were he married his...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2016 17:53:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 16-Feb-2016. Added claims on enemy fighters to P-51 Frankfurt element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2016 17:51:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 16-Feb-2016. Made connections to IX FC units and added claims on enemy fighters to P-47 Frankfurt statistics.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2016 17:46:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 16-Feb-2016. Made connections to IX FC units per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2016 17:44:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 16-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Lossed of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan BIshop & John A. Hey MBE.

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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