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VIII Fighter Command FO 238 BOMBER ESCORT

8 February 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 553 fighters of types: P-38, P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort for heavy bombers attacking the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany and Targets of Opportunity in the Frankfurt area. Mission Summary follows:

A combined force of 77 P-38s from: 20FG & 55FG are despatched. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 2POW. There are no other aircraft losses or casualties. The fighters in this element claim 4-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

A combined force of 435 P-47s are despatched. 48 of these are from IX Fighter Command 368FG. The balance of 387 P-47s are from: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; and 361FG. 3 aircraft from VIII Fighter Command Failed to Return (FTR) - 3 KIA. 1 aircraft with battle damage makes a crash landing at RAF Manston as is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) - 1RTD. 4 other aircraft are damaged. There are no other aircraft losses or casualties. The fighters of this element claim 12-1-7 of attacking German aircraft (2 of the "kills" are credited to IX FC 358FG) and also destroy 7 locomotives as Targets of Opportunity (TO).

A force of 41 P-51s from IX Fighter Command 354FG also joion in the escort. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1KIA 2 POW. There are no other aicraft losses or casualties. The fighters in this element claim 0-0-1 of attacking German fighters.

Mission details

1. FRANKFURT

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 77
Number of aircraft Effective 77
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 4

2. FRANKFURT

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

The IX Fighter Command contributes 48 P-47s from 358th Fighter Group. Fighter claims include 2-0-7 on the ground. Some of the fighters strafe targets of opportunity on the ground, destroying 7 locomotives (1 by 20th Fighter Group and 6 by 358th Fighter Group).

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...

  • 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. 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 387
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

3. FRANKFURT

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

Apparently 357th Fighter Group provided an number of P-51 aircraft to this effort, but the total number has not been determined. These flew with the IX Fighter Command 354th Fighter Group. 3 P-51 lost from 357th Fighter Group.

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...

  • 357th Fighter Group

    357th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 357th Fighter Group was the first P-51 Mustang Group in the Eighth Air Force, training with them from November 1943 at Raydon, England and entering combat with them in the February of the following year from their new base at Leiston. The Group was...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 41
Number of aircraft Effective 41
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of people Killed In Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

4. Frankfurt, Germany

Description

BOMBER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

48 P-47s from IX Fighter Command 358FG join the escort.

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 48
Number of aircraft Effective 48
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 2

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2016 21:58:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Feb-2016. Corrected statistics on P-51 element and added fighter claims on enemy aircraft per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman ans "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2016 21:53:52 Lee8thbuff Created event
Sources

Lee Cunniningham 5-Feb-2016. Added Mission event for P-47s deptached from IX Fighter Command 358FG per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2016 21:49:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Feb-2016. Added figther claime on enemy aircraft to VIII Fighter Command statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2016 21:44:34 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Feb-2016. Added fighter claims to P-38 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2016 21:42:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Feb-2016. Adde Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freemam, IX FIghter Command losses from "The Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

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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