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VIII Fighter Command FO-204 BOMBER ESCORT

20 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is a combined force of 491 fighter aircraft despatched to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. NOTE: Fighter claims of 16-3-6 on enemy aircraft were not allocated in source data, so they have been bundled with P-47 statistics. The force is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 26 P-38s from 55FG. There are no other casualties in this element.

The second element is a force of 418 P-47s from: 4FG, 56FG, 78FG, 352FG, 353FG, 356FG, 358FG and 359FG. This is the first combat mission for 358FG. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 2KIA. 1 airman in a returing aircraft was Wounded in Action (WIA). 2 battle damaged aircraft make crash landings upon return and the aircraft are declared to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), but pilots are OK 2RTD. 5 aircraft are damaged.

The third element is a force of 47 P-51s from 354FG (9th Air Force) operating under VIII Fighter Command control. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 3KIA.

Mission details

1. BREMEN

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 26

2. BREMEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Escort for bombers on Bremen raid. 354th Fighter Group (IX Fighter Command) despatches 47 P-51s, 4 were Missing in Action (MIA). (Statistics not included in totals). One P-47 from 356th Fighter Group collided with a B-24, both aircraft lost.

Units

  • 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...

  • 358th Fighter Group

    358th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 358th Fighter Group flew seventeen missions with the Eighth Air Force from Leiston air base. At the beginning of February 1944 the Group were transferred to the Ninth Air Force in exchange for the 357th Fighter Group. With the Ninth, the Group went...

  • 359th Fighter Group

    359th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 359th Fighter Group flew 346 missions from East Wretham between December 1943 and April 1945. In the main these missions were escorting bombers flying over occupied Europe. The Group, soon after converting from Thunderbolts to Mustangs, were...

  • 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 418
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 5
Number of people Killed In Action 2
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 19
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

3. Bremen, Germany

Description

Not yet known

Aircraft type

Not yet known

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

Number of aircraft Sent 47
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of people Killed In Action 3

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 19:29:25 Lee8thbuff Created event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Jul-2015. Added Mission Detail for 354FG (9th AIr Force) participation based on "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 19:26:30 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims (bundled) to P-47 element statistics per "the Mighty Eighth War Diary", ROger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 19:24:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-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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