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VIII Fighter Command P-47 RODEO

8 April 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

23 P-47s fly a Rodeo (offensive fighter sweep over enemy territory) between Dunkirk, France and Sangatte, France. 4FG (7); 56FG (4); and 78FG (12). There are no losses or claims. While the 4FG has been flying operations since 2-Oct-43, this is the first combat operation for 56FG and 78FG.

4th Fighter Group has now transitioned from Spitfires to P-47s which will be their primary aircraft until May 1944 when they will upgrade to the P-51. Their base will be at Debden, UK for the remainder of the war.

56th Fighter Group "The Wolfpack" has been assembling at Kingscliffe and Wittering, UK since 13-Jan-43 with P-47s but are now operating out of Horsham St. Faith, UK. The P-47 will be their primary aircraft until July 1944 when they will upgrade to the P-51.

The 78FG has been in the UK at Goxhill, UK since early November 1942 when they were equipped with P-38s. The Group was stripped of most of its P-38 aircraft in February 1943 when the aircraft were sent to units of 12th Air Force in North Africa and since that time have been transitioning to the Republic P-47C Thunderbolt. The P-47 will be their primary aircraft until Dec-44 when they will upgrade to the P-51. As of 3-Apr-43 their base of operations will be Duxford, UK and remain so for the remainder of the war.

Mission details

1. DUNKIRK / SANGATTE / Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK / Horsham St Faith, Norwich, Norfolk, UK / Duxford, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB22, UK

Description

FIGHTER Rodeo

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

First mission for 56th Fighter Group and 78th Fighter Group, flown from DEBDEN. Rodeos between Dunkirk and Sangatte.

Units

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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. It flew all three of the USAAF's principal fighters. On D-Day every available Thunderbolt provided air cover to the Allied...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 23

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2014 21:16:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Dec-2014. Added map locations for 4th FG (Debden), 56FG (Horsham St. Faith) and 78FG (Duxford)

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2014 21:15:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Dec-2014. Added map locations for 4th FG (Debden), 56FG (Horsham St. Faith) and 78FG (Duxdord)

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2014 20:39:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Dec-2014. Description based on "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop; "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman; on-line Unit biographies .

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:19 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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