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8th Air Force FO 269 BOMBER ESCORT

15 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 588 fighters of types: P-38 and P-47 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking at Brunswick, Germany. No P-51 units are despatched because all P-51s have been grounded to make modifications to their VHF radio equipment. Despatch details follow:

A combined force ot 121 P-38s from: 20FG; 55FG; and 364FG are despatched. 4 aircraft Failed to Return - 1KIA 3POW. 1 aircraft with battle damage is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash landing upon return - 1RTD. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

A combined force of 467 P-47s are despatched. 8th Air Force: 55FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; 356FG; 359FG and 361FG. These are joined by IX Fighter Command: 358FG and 362FG. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1POW. 5 aircraft are damaged. The fighters claim 39-3-13 of attacking German aircraft and 1-0-0 on the ground. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission details

1. Brunswick

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...

  • 364th Fighter Group

    364th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 364th Fighter Group flew 342 missions in P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs from Honington, Suffolk. The missions ranged from escorting bombers and dive-bombing and strafing targets to area patrol missions across a swathe of land that took in France...

  • 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 125
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 1

2. Brunswick

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

358th Fighter Group and 362nd Fighter Group from IX Fighter Command contribute an undetermined number of P-47 to the escort, number included in the total despatched.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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. The 78th FG flew each of the three US built principal fighters of the AAF in the ETO. In their Thundetbolts, the 78th FG ...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 467
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 40
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 13

3.

Description

ERRONEOUS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Mission Statistics

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2016 17:40:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-Feb-2016. Made connections to IX FC units in P-47 element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2016 17:39:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-Feb-2016. Lasr mission event was erroneuous but I couldn't remove it.

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2016 17:29:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-Feb-44. Added claims on enemy aircraft to P-47 element statistics per "The Mighty EIghth Air Force", Roger A> Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2016 17:25:54 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-Feb-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.

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2014 09:43:51 Emily Changes to event
Sources

Moved pin from Brunswick, US to Braunschweig, Germany.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:14 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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