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VIII Fighter Command FO-199 BOMBER ESCORT

13 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This fighter mission was composed of three elements despatched to provide escort to bombers attacking at Bremen and Keil, Germany. The first element was a force of 31 P-38s from 55FG. There were no aircraft combat losses but 1 aircraft crash landed in the street at Ludham Village, UK. 1RTD, aircraft destroyed. 1 aircraft was damaged and 1 pilot in a returning aircraft was Wounded in Action (WIA). This fighter element calimed 1-0-1 of attacking German aircraft.

The second element was a combined for of 322 P-47s from 56FG, 78FG, 352FG, 353FG, 355FG, 356FG. 1 aircraft was lost on take-off when it struck a tree. 1RTD. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was Wounded in Action (WIA). There were no claims on German aircraft.

The thrid element was a force of 41 P-51s from 356FG, 9th Air Force operating under 8th AF control. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1POW. There were no claims on German aircraft.

Mission details

1. BREMEN / HAMBURG / KIEL

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 Sent 31
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

2. BREMEN / HAMBURG / KIEL

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

Fighter escort for Bremen, Kiel, Hamburg raid. 354th Fighter Group (IX Fighter Command) despatches 41 P-51s (Statistics not included in totals)

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...

  • 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 people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

Service

People

  • Buford Eaves

    Military | Flight Lieutenant | Pilot | 354th Fighter Group
    On 13-Dec-43 as pilot of P-51B 43-6375, 354FG/353FS (9th Air Force) his Group was despatched from Boxted, UK on a mission to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. The Group was operating under VIII Fighter Command on this operation. 1LT Eaves...

  • Hugh Goudelock

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    December 13, 1943, on bomber support mission when left engine cut out over enemy territory, he nursed P-38H 42-67053 "Vivacious Vera", 55FG/343FS back to England escorted by other group members. Upon approach to Ludham, lost power in right engine and...

  • Donald Laing

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    December 13, 1943 on a 'Ramrod ' mission when P-47D 42-8416 [OS:X], 355FG/357FS struck a tree on takeoff from Steeple Morton. 2LT.Laing took a/c up sans belly tank and baled out over Sizewell, UK. Aircraft crashed in the English Channel two miles east...

Aircraft

  • 43-6375

    P-51 Mustang
    P-51B-5-NA 42-6375 was assigned to the 354FG/353FS of the 9th Air Force at Boxted, UK. On 13-Dec-2015 the aircraft, piloted by 1LT Buford H. Eaves, was despatched with other P-51s of 354FG to provide escort to bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. The...

  • 42-67053 Vivacious Vera

    P-38 Lightning
    P-38-H-5-LO 42-67953 "Vivacious Vera", 55FG/343FS was assigned at Nuthampstead, UK. On 13-Dec-43 the aircraft, piloted by 1LT Hugh J Goudelock, was despatched with other P-38s to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. While over enemy territory...

  • 42-8416

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-5-RE 42-8416 was assigned to the 355FG/357FS at Steeple Morden, UK. On 13-Dec-1943 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Donald J. Laing, was despatched along with other P-47s from 355FG to provide escort to bombers attacking at Keil, Germany. On take-off...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 19:24:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added fighter claims on enemy aircraft to P-38 element statistics per "The Mighty Eight War Diary", ROger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
26 July 2015 19:22:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-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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