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VIII Fighter Command FO-203 BOMBER ESCORT

16 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This fighter mission is despatched to escort bombres attacking at Bremen, Germany. The mission consists of three elements. The first element if a force of 31 P-38s from 55FG. No aircraft are lost in combat, but 1 aircraft went out of control over Wakerly, UK on return when pilot became disoriented in clouds 1KIA.

The second fighter element was a force of 131 P-47s from 4FG; 355FG and 356FG. There are no losses in combat but 1 aircraft crashed into the sea on the way out for no apparent reason and the pilot was killed (1KIA). This element claims 1-0-0 of attacking German fighters.

The third element was a force of 39 P-51s from 345FG (9th Air Force) operating under VIII Fighter COmmand control. There are no losses in this element. This element claims 1-0-0 of attacking German fighters.

Mission details

1. BREMEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

55th Fighter Group's P-38s fail to make the rendezvous because the bombers were late. Returned to base. 354th Fighter Group (IX Fighter Command) contributes 39 P-51s to the escort (Statistics not included in totals)

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 31
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1

2. BREMEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 131
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

3. Bremen, Germany

Description

P-51 FIGHTER ESCORT of bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

Service

People

  • Leroy Hokinson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Leroy Hokinson was a Pilot in the 55thFighter Group/38th Fighter Squadron. Flying his 6th mission on a fighter sweep to Venlo and Arnhem, The Netherlands on 31 January 1944 in P-38 Lightning Serial 42-67813, he was shot down by an enemy FW190 fighter....

Aircraft

  • 42-67813

    P-38 Lightning
    Lightning P-48 Serial #42-67813 was flown by 2nd Lt Leroy Hokinson of ...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 21:58:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to P-47 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 21:57:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Corrected location for P-51 event.

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 21:55:54 Lee8thbuff Created event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-jul-2015. Added NEW Mission event for 354FG and added claims to thier statistics per "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 21:50:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims to Mission Narrative per "The Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 21:46:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-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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