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8th Air Force FO 247 BOMBER ESCORT

22 February 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 659 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are desdpatched to provide escort to the heavy bomber attacking the GErman aircraft industry on Day of of BIG WEEK. Mission Summary follows:

A combined force of 47 P-38s from: 20FG & 55FG are despatched. 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) when the pilot attempted to land with only one engine running, came in too fast and buckeld landing gear -1RTD. Pilot error. 6 aircraft are damaged. The fighters in this element claim 1-0-0 of attacking German fighters. There are no pther losses or casualties.

A combined force of 535 P-47s are depatched. 8th Air Force: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; 3659FG; and 361FG. IX Fighter Command: 358FG; 362FG and 368FG join in the escort. 7 aircraft from 8th Air Force Failed to Return (FTR) - 5KIA 2RTD 1 aircraft from IX Fighter Command Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA. 12 aircraft are damaged. The fighters in this element claim 39-6-15 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

A combined force of 57 P-51s are despatched. 8th Air Force 357FG and IX Fighter Command 354FG. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA 1POW. 3 aircraft are damaged. The fighters of this element claim 19-1-10 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

Mission details

1.

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

All P-38s despatched are from VIII Fighter Command.

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 67
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

2.

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

358th Fighter Group, 362nd Fighter Group, 368th Fighter Group of IX Fighter Command contribute P-47s to escort (number not determined from source data, included in total despatched). IX Fighter Command has one aircraft Missing in Action (MIA). One of the missing P-47 (serial number 42-75226) from 353th Fighter Group was being flown by the leading ace in the ETO, Major Walter Beckham.

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...

  • 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...

  • 368th Fighter Group

    368th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 368th Fighter Group flew P-47s in combat from England from March 1944. In the days after D-Day the Group supported Allied ground troops fighting in the Cherbourg penisula and then around St. Lo. The Group received a DUC for flying seven missions in...

  • 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 537
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 8
Number of aircraft Damaged 12
Number of people Killed In Action 6
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 39
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 15

3.

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-51 Mustang

Notes

354th Fighter Group from IX Fighter Command contributes P-51s to escort (number not determined from source data, included in total despatched). IX Fighter Command has one aircraft Missing in Action (MIA) (not included in total)

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 57
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 19
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 10

Service

People

  • Emer Cater

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 359th Fighter Group

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 21:57:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Added claims on enemy aircraft to P-51 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 21:55:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Made connections of IX FC units and added claims on enemy aircraft to P-47 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & Jophn A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 21:50:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Added claims on enemy aircraft to P-38 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 21:49:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman; losses confirmed from MACRS and "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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