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VIII Fighter Command FO-194 BOMBER ESCORT

1 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission was composed of two fighter elements despatched to escort bombers attacking Leverkusen/Solingen, Germany. The first element was a force of 42 P-38s from 55FG. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1KIA 1POW. 1 aircraft crahed on return and was declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 1RTD. There were no claims agains enemy aircraft.

The second element was a combined force of 374 P-47 from: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; 353FG; 355FG; and 356FG. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 3KIA 2POW. 3 aircraft are damaged. This fighter element claims 20-4-7 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. SOLINGEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-38 Lightning

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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 Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 1

2. SOLINGEN

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Fighter escort for Solingen raid. An introductory sweep was flown by P-51s from 384th Fighter Group, but number participating not in available record.

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...

  • 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 374
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 3
Number of people Killed In Action 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 20
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

Service

People

  • Wilton Erickson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Wilton Erickson was flying on his first mission, an escort and support one, on 1 December 1943. His P-38 #42-67033 was last seen in the vicinity of Much, about 30km East of Köln, Germany. Shot down by German fighters, his P-38 crashed near Lanzerath,...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 July 2015 23:40:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to tatistics of P-47 element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date Contributor Update
21 July 2015 23:38:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-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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