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VIII Fighter Command FO-177 BOMBER ESCORT

11 November 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is composed of two fighter elements. The first element is a force of 59 P-38 combined from 55FG and 20FG/79FS despatched to provide escort for the bomber formations attacking at Munster.

The second element was a combined force of 342 P-47s from 4FG, 56FG, 78FG, 352FG, 353FG, and 356FG despatched to escort the bombers directed to attack at Wesel, Germany. The bomber fomarions are recalled but the fighter do engage some German fighters and claim 8-1-2 of the attacking German aircraft. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 3KIA (confirmed from MACR records). 1 aircraft returned damaged.

Mission details

1. MUNSTER/WESEL

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

20th Fighter Group/79th Fighter Squadron (P-38) accompanied 55th Fighter Group.

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...

  • 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 59

2. MUNSTER/WESEL

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Fighter escort for raid on Munster and Wesel, Germany.

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...

  • 355th Fighter Group

    355th Fighter Group

    Group
    Where the 353rd Fighter Group had pioneered ground strafing techniques, it was the 355th Fighter Group who destroyed more enemy aircraft by ground strafing than any other Eighth Air Force Group. Based at Steeple Morden from July 1943 to July 1945, the...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 342
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

Service

People

  • Charles Dinse

    Military | First Lieutenant | 353rd Fighter Group

  • Dolor Martin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot, Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 11 November 1943 in P-47D 42-8668 356FG/360FS. 2LT Martin's aircraft was last seen in the vicinity of Arnhem, Holland, while on a mission to escort B-17s attacking at Munster, Germany. He left the formation to return to Base...

  • Malcolm Meter

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 11-Nov-43 as pilot of P-47D-6-RE 42-74626 when he was forced to bale out of his aircraft 30 miles west of The Hague, Holland. He had been despatched on a mission to escort B-17s attacking at Munster, Germany and his aircraft...

  • Wayne O'Connor

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 11-Nov-43 as pilot of P-47D 42-74722, 56FG/63FS while on a mission to escort B-17 bombers attacking at Munster, Germany. Aircraft was seen to entere a could bank over Coesfeld, Germany and never came out. The aircraft crashed...

Aircraft

  • 42-74626

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-6-RE 42-74626 was assigned to 56FG/62FS at Halesworth, UK on 11-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Malcolm Van Meter, was depatched with others from the Gruop to provide withdrawl support of B-17 formations attacking at Munster, Germany. 2LT Van...

  • 42-74722

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-6-RE 42-74722 was assigned to 56FG/63FS at Halesworth, UK. On 11-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by 1LT Wayne J O'Conner, was despatched with others from the 56FG to escort B-17 formations attacking at Munster, Germany. The aircraft was last see...

  • 42-8668 Stewpot

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-5-RE 42-8668 was assigned to the 356FG/360FS at Martlesham, UK. On 11-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Dolor A. Martin, was despatched with others from 356FG to provide escort to B-17 bombers attacking at Munster, Germany. During aerial combat...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 19:12:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015, Added FTR to P-47 element. Freeman had it a 2 MIA but 3 acutally FTR based on MACR records 1439 1440 and 1450.

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 19:05:29 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to the P-47 element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 19:04:13 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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