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VIII Fighter Command FO-172 BOMBER ESCORT

7 November 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 283 P-47s from 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; and 356FG are despatched to escort the B-17 formations attacking at Wesel and Duren, Germany. The 78FG flew the first double-group mission composed of two formations 'A' and 'B. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1EVD but none were as the direct result of fighter or anti-aircraft attacks. The fighters claim 1-0-0 of attacking German fighters.

NOTE: Roger A. Freeman iin "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" had the 355FG as associated with this mission. However, MACR research of 355FG losses on this date indicated that they flew VIII FC FO-173 escorting B-26 bombers of 9th Air Force attacking German airfields at Montdidier and Meulan, France. Since both operations were flown on the same date might have been the cause of the statistics being confused - Lee Cunningham.

Mission details

1. WESEL/DUREN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Fighter escort for raid on Wesel and Duren, Germany. The 78th Fighter Group flew the first double-group missions with 'A' and 'B' formations.

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...

  • 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 283
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Evaded 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

Service

People

  • Eugene Colburn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Damaged by fighters and flak enroute on a mission to Schweinfurt, GR and crashed on the return near Amiens, FR on 24 Feb 1944 in B-17F #42-3517 'Happy Warrior'. Evaded (EVD). ...

  • Charles Dinse

    Military | First Lieutenant | 353rd Fighter Group

  • Robert Sheehan

    Military | Flight Officer | Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    On 7-Nov-43 while piloting P-47D 42-7975, 56FG/63FS his aircraft sustained an engine failure over Holland on a mission to escort B-17 bombers attacking at Duren, Germany. He was able to bale out and evade capture, returning to England on 25-Jan-44. The...

Aircraft

  • 42-7975

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-2-RE 42-7975 was assigned to the 56FG/63FS at Halesworth, UK. On 7-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by F/O Robert F. Sheehan, sustained an engine failure over Holland while on a mission to escort B-17 bombers attacking at Duren, Germany. He baled out...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 July 2015 19:24:34 Lee8thbuff Changes to person associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Jul-2015. Correcting People associations.

Date Contributor Update
10 July 2015 19:22:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to person associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Jul-2015 Adding Edwin Carlson to People associations based on MACR 1280.

Date Contributor Update
10 July 2015 18:27:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Jul-2015. Corrected Description and added NOTE to Description based on analysis of MACRs associated with 355FG losses on this date. Roger A. Freeman's "The Mighty Eight War Diary" is in error in assigning 355FG to this operation. 355FG DID fly VIII FC FO-173 on the same date, and perhaps that was where the statistics got confused.

Date Contributor Update
10 July 2015 18:19:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Jul-2015. Corrected statistics based on research of MACRs associated with losses of 355FG. Roger A. Freeman's "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" erroneously lumped the 355FG in with other P-47 Groups assigned on VIII FC FO-172.

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 21:54:30 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015. Corrected mission statistics from 2KIA to 1KIA 1EVD per E&E Report 340 (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 18:10:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 18:09:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:20 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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