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VIII Fighter Command FO 227 BOMBER ESCORT

30 January 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 635 fighter aircraft are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking the avaition industry at Brunswick, Germany. All three types of fighter aircraft are employed: P-38s, P-47s and P-51s. Source data does not state how many of each type were despatched. The contingent of 51s were contributed by IX Fighter Command 354FG. Mission summary as follows:

P-38s from 20FG & 55FG (Exact number not in source data). 2 of these aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA 1 POW. 2 aircraft were damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was WIA. The fighters in this element claimed 4-0-1 of attacking German aircraft.

P-47s from: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; 358FG; 359FG; and 361FG are despatched (exact number not in source data). This is the last mission flown by 358FG as part of VIII Fighter Command. This Group will be exchanged for 357FG of IX Fighter Command on 1-Feb-44. 2 aircraft in this element Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA 1POW. 3 aircraft sustain battle damage. The fighters in this element claim 36-13-20 of attacking German fighters.

P-51s are despatched by IX Fighter Command, 354FG (exact number not in source data). No aircraft are lost but 2 sustain battle damage. The fighters in this element claim 5-2-10 of attacking German fighters.

Mission details

1. Brunswick, Germany

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

635 fighters are despatched. Split not recorded in available data but approximately 85 P-38 and 45 P-51. P51s contributed by 354th Fighter Group IX Fighter Command This is the last mission for 358th Fighter Group before being transferred to IX Fighter Command in exchange for 357th Fighter Group.

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 85
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

2. Brunswick, Germany

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Exact number despatched not provided in source data.

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...

  • 361st Fighter Group

    361st Fighter Group

    Group
    The 361st Fighter Group was the last P-47 Thunderbolt Group to join the Eighth Air Force. Between 21 January 1944 and 20 April 1945, the Group flew 441 missions, the majority in an escort role in support of bombers flying over occupied Europe. 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 505
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 3
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 36
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 13
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 20

3. Brunswick, Germany

Description

BOMBER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

Approximately 45 P-51s from IX Fighter Command, 354FG participate.

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 45
Number of aircraft Effective 45
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 10

Service

People

  • Eugene Barnum

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed one tour of duty, returning for a second tour. Credited with two aerial kills. Failed to Return (FTR) ramrod to Bingen in P-47 44-19739, positioning himself for a deflection shot on a Bf109, 2nd Lt Wyman A...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2016 21:45:40 Lee8thbuff Created event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Jan-2016. Added Mission event for P-51s per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2016 21:41:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Jan-2016 Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to P-47 statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2016 21:40:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Jan-2016 Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to P-38 statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2016 21:38:02 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Jan-2016 Added Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
02 December 2014 16:28:54 Lucy May Changes to event
Sources

Changed location target pin from Brunswick in the USA to Germany.

Date Contributor Update
02 December 2014 16:19:01 LucyMM Changes to event
Sources

Changed location for mission event 1 from Brunswick in the USA to Brunswick, Germany.

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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