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VIII Fighter Command FO-162 BOMBER ESCORT

18 October 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission was composed of two fighter elements. The first element was a force of 33 P-38s from 55FG despatched to accompany bomber formations headed for Duren, Germany. Weather conditions prevented rendevous with the bomber stream and both the fighters and the vombers were recalled. 1 P-38 Failed to Return (FTR) 1KIA. There were no claims on enemy aircraft.

The second element was a combined force of 296 P-47s from 4FG, 56FG, 78FG, 352FG, 353FG, 355FG and 356FG despatched to escort the B-17 formations headed for Duren, Germany. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1KIA 1RTD (rescued by ASR). The fighters in this force claim 1-0-0 of German fighters.

Mission details

1. DUREN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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 33
Number of aircraft Effective 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1

2. DUREN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Figther escort for Duren mission, recalled when weather prevented rendezvous.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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

Tonnage dropped Not Applicable
Number of aircraft Sent 296
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

Service

People

  • Hugh Gillette

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 18-Oct-43 as pilot of P-38H 42-66719 while on an operation to escort bombers headed for Duren, Germany. Weather prevented rendeavous of fighters with the bomber formations and both the fighter and the bombers were recalled. He...

  • Eugene Maben

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on18-Oct-43 in P-47D 42-22532 [YF:N], 355FG/359FS. Aircraft last seen spinning at 15,000 feet near Mons, Belgium. Cause not determined, possibly anoxia. Aircraft crashed at Croix-lez-Rouveroy, Belgium.

  • Franklin Resseguie

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    On 18 Oct 43 in P-47C 41-6240 [WZ:E], 78FG/84FS 2LT Franklin B. Resseguie was forced to abandond the aircraft due to mechanical failure while on a mission to escort bombers headed for Duren, Germany. He was rescued by ASR and Returned to Duty (RTD).

Aircraft

  • 41-23729 'Shoot Luke'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned 328th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. TDY 9th AF, Benghazi. Flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid, forced to abort. ...

  • 41-6240

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47C-2-RE 41-6240 [WZ:E] was assigned to the 78FG/84FS at Duxford, UK. On 18-Oct-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Frankin B. Resseguie, was despatched with other fighters from his group to provide escort to B-17 bombers planned to attack at Duren,...

  • 42-22532

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D 42-22532 was assigned to 355FG/358FS at Steeple Morden, UK. On 18-Oct-43 the aircraft, piloted by 1LT Eugene W. Maben, Jr., was despatched with other 47s from the 355FG to provide escort to B-17s heading towards Duren, Germany. Weather prevented...

  • 42-66719

    P-38 Lightning
    P-38H-1-LO 42-66719 was assigned to the 55FG/38FS at Nuthampstead, UK. On 18-Oct-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Hugh E. Gillette, was deaptched with 32 others on a mission to escort bombers headed for Duren, Germany. Weather conditions made it...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 18:35:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:20 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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