8th Air Force 279 BOMBER ESCORT

24 March 1944

Description

A force of 540 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking at Schweinfurt, Germany and St. Dizier, France airfield. 266 of the 540 aircraft (both P-47 and P-51) are supplied by IX Fighter Command units. 2 groups of P-47s are assigned to escort the bombers attacking at St. Dizier, France. Bad weather in England prevented 7 fighter groups from taking off. Despatch summary follows:

A combined force of 84 P-38s from: 55FG and 364FG are despatched. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1POW 1EVD. There are no other losses, casulaties or claims in this element.

A combined force of 301 P-47s are despatched: 8th Air Force: 56FG 78FG; 356FG; and 361FG. These are joined by others from IX Fighter Command: 362FG. The fighters in this element claim 1-0-0 of attacking German aircraft in the air and 2-0-4 on the ground. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

A combined force of 155 P-51s are depatched. 8th Air Force: 4FG and 355FG. These are joined by others for IX Fighter Command: 354FG and 363FG. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (IX FC 354FG) - 2KIA 1RTD(rescued by ASR). There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

Mission Details

AMSTERDAM / ANTWERP / BRUSSELS / CHARLEROI

Description: 300 BUNDLES DROPPED

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 6
  • Aircraft effective: 6

Nancy, France

Description: BOMBER ESCORT

Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning

Notes: 84 P-38s provide escort. 2 are lost in a mid-air collision near Nancy, France. 1POW-1EVD.

Mission Statistics

  • People evaded: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 84
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

Frankfurt, Germany / Schweinfurt, Germany

Description: BOMBER ESCORT

Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes: 301 P-47s provide escort. 2 groups assigned to escort bombers going to Nancy, France, the others providing penetration and withdrawl support to the force attacking at Schwienfurt/Frankfurt. These are a mix of 8th Air Force units and IX Fighter Command units. Claims on enemy aircraft include 2-0-4 on the ground.

Mission Statistics

  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 3
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by fighter: 4
  • Aircraft sent: 301

Nancy, France / Schweinfurt, Germany

Description: BOMBER ESCORT

Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang

Notes: 155 P-51s are despatched. These are a mix of 8th Air Force units and IX Fighter Command units. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) (IX FC 354FG) 2KIA 1RTD (rescued by ASR)

Mission Statistics

  • People killed in action: 2
  • People returned to duty: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 155
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3

Revisions

Date6 Mar 2016 18:19:56
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-May-2016. Added Mission Event for Nancy/Schweinfurt P-51element based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 9th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date6 Mar 2016 18:14:26
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-May-2016. Added Mission Event for Frankfurt/Schweinfurt P-47 element based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 9th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date6 Mar 2016 18:06:42
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-May-2016. Added Mission event for P-38s in Nancy element based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date6 Mar 2016 18:00:55
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-May-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE and MACRS.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:12
ContributorAAM
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'.