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VIII Fighter Command FO-163 BOMBER ESCORT.

20 October 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission was composed of two fighter elements. The first element was a force of 39 P-38s from 55FG despatched to escort B-17 formations attacking at Duren, Germany. There wer no losses or claims.

The second element was a combined force of 321 P-47s from 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 325FG; 353FG; 355FG; and 356FG despatched to escort B-17 formations attacking at Duren, Germany. 2 aircraft were damaged. The fighters in this element claimed 6-0-5 of attacking German aircraft.

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 39

2. DUREN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

With 8 Fighter Groups now active from the UK, the 8th Air Force is able to put up large formations of fighters as bomber escorts. In addition IX Fighter Command will lend significant fighter support. It is finally beginning to sink in with 8th Air Force Command that destroying the Luftwaffe can only be accomplished by using the bombers as "bait" to bring the German fighters into the air where 8th Air Force fighters can engage and destroy them. However, the "little friends" will make a substantial difference in lessening the casualty rates of the bomber crews.

Units

  • 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

Number of aircraft Sent 321
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 20:33:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft tot statistics of the P-47 element per "the Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 20:31:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth 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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