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VIII Fighter Command FO-210 BOMBER ESCORT

30 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A force of 583 fighter aircraft are despatched to provide escort to bombers attacking at Ludwigshafen, Germany. The force is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 79 P-38s from 20FG and 55FG. There are no losses or claims in this element.

The second element is a force of 483 P-47s from: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; 358FG; and 359FG. 11 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 6KIA 4POW 1EVD. 1 aircraft returned but was DBR and 5 others were damaged. This fighter element claimed 4-3-6 of attacking German aircraft.

The third element was a force of 41 P-51s from 354FG (9th Air Force) operating under VIII Fighter Command control). 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 2POW. There were no other casualties. The P-51 element claimed 4-0-0 of attacking German fighters.

The fighters of this mission claimed 8-3-6 of attacking German aircraft. 4 of the kills were attributed to 354FG

Mission details

1. LUDWIGSHAVEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

354th Fighter Group IX Fighter Command despatches 41 P-51s to join 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 79
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 2

2. LUDWIGSHAVEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Not yet known

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...

  • 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. 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 463
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 13
Number of aircraft Damaged 5
Number of people Killed In Action 6
Number of people Prisoners of War 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

3. Ludwigshafen, 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 41
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:55:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims to P-47 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:54:14 Lee8thbuff Created event
Sources

Lee Cunnigham 28-Jul-2015. Added NEW Mission event fro 354FG (9th AF) per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:51:30 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-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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