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First Lieutenant Ralph "Kidd" Hofer, 4th Fighter Group, talking with his I.O. Lieutenant Charles Ashcraft before the first Russia Shuttle mission. Official caption on back: "Lt. Ralph K. Hover (sic), Salem, Mo., gets last minute instruction from his intelligence officer, Lt. Charles Ashcraft, of Pittsburgh, Pa., for the 21 June 44 long range fighter escort mission with bomber of the 8th Air Force which attacked targets in central Germany and then flew on to land in Russia. Lt. Hofer, the former Golden Gloves boxing champion, was recently forced down in France. He landed on the Normandy beachhead and then flew back to England, bringing with him a German helmet and a copy of Hitler’s "Mein Kampf" as souvenirs. Lt. Hover (sic) has a total of 19 ½ enemy aircraft destroyed, 16 ½ in the air and 13 on the ground." (This caption has misspelled Hofer's name as 'Hover' twice.)



  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter 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...

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...

  • Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    The Headquarters Squadron was made up of true leaders. Most had flown Hurricanes, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs. ...


  • Charles Ashcraft

    Military | Captain | Intelligence Officer / Adjutant
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Ralph Hofer

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine
    Ralph Kidd Hofer was born Ralph Kidd Halbrook on a farm near Salem, Missouri, in 1921. Upon his father's death, when Ralph was only four, his mother remarried and his name was changed to Ralph Kidd Hofer. Eventually the name "Kidd" stuck with him...


  • 428

    21 June 1944
    Ruhland, Germany - The target, south of Berlin, bombed by 114 fortresses with an escort of 70 Mustangs went off as planned but not before the Germans destroyed 43 B-17's and damaged 26. Landed in Russia.


  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 22:04:11 WD-C Mustang Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and mission associations