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VIII Fighter Command ESCORT-VIII BC 29

13 January 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

4ht Fighter Group despatches 69 Spitfires to provide bomber escort. The escort is provided to the attacking force of VIII Bomber Command Mission 29 attacking Lille, France; and to two RAF bomber formations attacking targets at St. Omer, France. Exact dispositions to these three elements has not yer been determined. This is the first instance where 8AF fighters have been specifically to escort an 8AF heavy bomb mission. 1 Spitfire is forced down at Tangmere with Category B damage (it was repaired).

Also, 4th Fighter Group despatches 2 Spitfires on a fighter patrol along the English Coast.

Mission details

1. ENGLISH COAST

Description

DEFENSIVE PATROL

Aircraft type

Spitfire

Notes

Defensive patrol of English Coast.

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 2

2. SAINT OMER

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

Spitfire

Notes

Spitfires are despatched to escort the 8th Air Force bombers as well as two raids by RAF Bostons against St. Omer. One Spitfire is listed as Missing in Action (MIA) but it was actually forced down by engine failure at Tangmere in England. This is the first time that fighters have been specifically used to escort 8th Air Force bombers.

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 69
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5

Service

People

  • Frank Batterson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    On 23 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24580 'Hell Cat', 303BG/358BS while serving as Tail Gunner the aircraft was downed by fighters near Brest. He was able to parachute to safety and was captured as a Prisoner of War (POW). Participated in 7 Operations -...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:53:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to statistics on St. Omer escort per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 December 2014 23:07:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Dec-2014. Added fighter patrol to description.

Date Contributor Update
08 December 2014 23:05:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Dec-2014. Description based on 'The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A, Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:18 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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