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8th Air Force FO 246 BOMBER ESCORT

21 February 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of fighters of types: P-38; P-47; and P-51s are despatched to escort the heavy bombers attacking airfields in Germany. Mission Summary follows:

69 P-38s from 20FG & 55FG are depatched. 1 aircraft with battle damage is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash landing upon return - 1RTD. The fighters in this element claim 0-1-0 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

A combined force of 542 P-47s is despatched from: 8th Air Force 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; 359FG and 361FG. IX Fighter Command 358FG and 362FG also participate. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1KIA 1EVD. 2 aircraft with battle damage are Dmaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 2RTD. 3 aircraft are damaged. The fighters in this element claim 19-2-14 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

A combined force of 68 P-51s are despatched from: 8th Air Force 357FG and IX Fighter Command 354FG. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA 1POW 1EVD. The fighters in this element claim 14-1-4 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

Mission details

1.

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 69
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

2.

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

358th Fighter Group (P-47) and 362nd Fighter Group (P-47) from IX Fighter Command join with VIII Fighter Command fighter groups to provide a force of 542 P-47s as escorts. (Number despatched bundled for VIII Fighter Command and IX Fighter Command).

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...

  • 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...

  • 362nd Fighter Group

    362nd Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group trained in P-47s and moved to England in November 1943. Arriving earlier than many other Ninth Air Force fighter groups, the pilots main occupation was escort work for heavy bombers. The Group's first mission on 8 February 1944 was one...

  • 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 542
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 3
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 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 14

3.

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

354th Fighter Group (P-51) from IX Fighter Command join with VIII Fighter Command 357th Fighter Group to provide a force of 68 P-51s as escorts (Number despatched bundled for VIII Fighter Command and IX DC). 354th Fighter Group claims 9 enemy aircraft destroyed.

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 68
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 14
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 4

Service

People

  • Raymond Care

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot, Pilot | 4th Fighter Group
    Captain Raymond Clare was from Angola, Indiana, and had enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force before the United States' entry into the war. He arrived in England in March 1942 and was assigned to No. 71 Eagle Squadron of Americans in the RAF...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 19:21:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Made connection to IX FC unit, added claims on enemy airccraft to P-51 element 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
10 February 2016 19:17:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Made connections to IX FC units; added claims on enemy aircraft to P-47 element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 19:12:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Added 1DBR, 1RTD and claims on enemy aircraft to P-38 element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 19:10:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. 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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