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VIII Fighter Command FO-198 BOMBER ESCORT

11 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This fighter mission is composed of three elements despatched to provide escort to heavy bomber attacking at Bremen, Germany. The first element is a force of 31 P-38s from 55FG (included some from 20FG). There are no losses or claims in this element.

The second element is a combinded force of 313 P-47s from 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG and 356FG. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 3KIA, 2 of these sustained a mid-air collision with eachother and 1 was lost when pilot attempted to return to base shortly after take off because of a fuel leak. Pilot turned to steeply and his aircraft stalled an crashed killing the pilot. 3 aircraft were damaged. The fighters of this element claimed 21-0-7 of attacking German aircraft.

The third element was a force of 44 P-51s from 9th Air Force 354FG operating under 8th AF control. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1KIA. There were no claims on enemy aircraft by this element.

Mission details

1. EMDEN

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 31
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1

2. EMDEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

354th Fighter Group of IX Fighter Command contributes 44 P-51s to the escort. (9th Air Force totals not included in totals)

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...

  • 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...

  • 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. 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 313
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 3

Service

People

  • Lawrence Strand

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 11-Dec-43 in P-47D 42-7967, 56FG/61FS when his aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with P-47D 42-8606 over the North Sea on a mission to excort bombers attacking at Emden, Germany. Both aircraft crashed into the North Sea...

  • Jack Woertz

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Killed on Mission (KOM) 11-Dec-43 in P-47D 42-75045. Shortly after take off from Steeple Morden , UK on a mission to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany 1LT Woertz noticed that his aircraft was leaking fuel. He attempted to return to base but...

Aircraft

  • 42-7967

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-2-RE 42-7967 was assigned to the 56FG/61FS at Halesworth, UK. On 11-Dec-42 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Lawrence R. Strand, was despatched with other P-47s from 56FG to provide escort to bombers attacking at Emden, Germany. 2LT Strand was flying...

  • 42-8606

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-2-RE 42-8606 was assigned to the 56FG/61FS at Halesworth, UK. On 11-Dec-42 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Edward J. Kruer, was despatched with other P-47s from 56FG to provide escort to bombers attacking at Emden, Germany. 2LT Kruer was flying as ...

  • 42-75045

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-10-RE 42-75045 [YF:Y] was assigned to the 355FG/358FS at Steeple Morden, UK. On 11-Dec-43 the aircraft, piloted by 1LT Jack J. Woertz, was despatched with other P-47s from 355FG to provide escort to bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. Shortly...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2015 17:14:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-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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