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Winfield H Brown


19th March 1945 is noted in the Duxford Fighter Group’s History as being a day that would never be forgotten. On that day one of the most intense and successful air battles of WW2 was fought by Duxford’s 78th Fighter Group. Consequently detailed records and combat reports are preserved. Captain W H Brown was flying with Duxford’s 82nd fighter squadron.

“The aerial battle of March 19 [45] was the toughest and at the same time most successful the group has ever fought. It lasted for an hour, with waves of German fighters joining the battle until the group, numbering 46 Mustangs, was engaging a force almost three times its size. The fighting was so confused that when the three squadrons landed at Duxford they reported they had encountered the same group of Nazis, estimated at about 50. Later they compared notes and found the total number of enemy planes involved was around 125.

First intimation of the impending action came in the form of fake attacks by three jet planes at the German border. These made shallow dives on the group, apparently hoping to force the Mustangs to drop their tanks and to draw them away from the area where other fighters were forming up for attacks on American bombers. The Mustang pilots, however, refused to bite at the bait, and after turning into the jets to force them off continued on their courses.”

Combat Report 1230 hrs. 19th March 1945 Capt. W.H. Brown 82nd FS (0563)
Leading Surtax Yellow flight we ran into 30 plus Bandits NW of Osnabruck. I bounced a Me-109 at 1,000 ft. and scored hits with my first burst and he streamed smoke and coolant. The ship crashed and I pulled up onto the tail of an Arado 234 at 1,000 ft., and saw strikes and smoke. My wingman also fired on him, getting good strikes. We closed fast and, on the next burst, I set the jet on fire and he crashed. Going back to the deck on the tail of 2 Me-109s, my sight ranging cable broke and I scored strikes on both 109s using the K-14 pipper alone. One 109 appeared to go in but I was forced to break into four approaching Bandits and didn’t witness the crash. This occurred at tree top level and, as I had scored many good hits on the fuselage and cockpit of both, I claim these two destroyed pending assessment of film. In addition, I claim the first Me-109 destroyed and the Ar-234 shared with Lt. H.H. Lamb.
Capt W.H. Brown 0-667647 82nd FS

Credited with downing a Me262.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


  • 78th Fighter Group

    78th Fighter 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...

  • 82nd Fighter Squadron


  • 44-72191

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF.

Associated Place

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...


Event Location Date
Born 28 January 1917
Lived in Riverside, East Providence, RI 02915, USA 1941
Enlisted Providence, RI, USA 24 March 1941
Based Duxford 27 June 1944 – June 1945

Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF.

End Tour of Duty (ETD) England, UK 9 December 1944

Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

Promotion Duxford, Cambridge CB22 4QR, UK 10 January 1945

Promoted to Captain.

E/A Destroyed Osnabrück, Germany 19 March 1945

Me-109 destroyed. Osnabrück, Germany. 19-Mar-45.

E/A Shared destroyed Osnabrück, Germany 19 March 1945

AR-234 shared. Osnabrück, Germany. 19-Mar-45.

E/A Destroyed Germany 21 March 1945

E/A Destroyed. Germany. 21-Mar-45.

Promotion Duxford, Cambridge CB22 4QR, UK June 1945

Promoted to Major.

Base commander Alconbury, Huntingdon PE28, UK 1 June 1953

Became the first base commander of RAF Alconbury on 1-Jun-53.

Died 1 Maguire Way, Newburgh, NY 12550, USA 5 May 1955

Killed when his F-86 Sabre crash landed at Stewart AFB in New York. 5-May-55.


Date Contributor Update
21 July 2017 19:10:20 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography, events and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
21 July 2017 13:48:29 Al_Skiff Changes to role, awards, events, unit associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2016 14:23:12 Anne Hughes Changes to biography

78th Fighter Group monthly history

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:58 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / EAGLES OF DUXFORD, The 78th Fighter Group in WW2 by Fry, p132 / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list