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VIII Fighter Command FO-87 BOMBER ESCORT

30 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

A combined force of 107 P-47s from: 4FG; 56FG; and 78FG are despatched to escort the bomber formations attacking the aircraft industry at Kassel, Germany. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR)-4KIA 1POW 1EVD 1RTD (Rescued by ASR). The fighters were all equipped with drop tanks to increase their range. Major Roberts from 78FG scores the first 8th AF "Triple Kill"; and LT Q. L. Brown of the 78FG carries out the first strafing attack using a P-47. This is the first major tangle that fighter escorts have had with the Luftwaffe and they claim 25-4-8 of the attacking fighters.

Mission details

1. KASSEL

Description

FIGHTER ESCORT

Aircraft type

P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes

They surprise the Luftwaffe over Bocholt, Germany as the enemy is not accustomed to fighter escort beyond the coastal fringe. MAJ Eugene Roberts 78th Fighter Group becomes the first 8th Air Force fighter pilot to score 3 aerial kills of German aircraft on this mission. 1LT Q. L. Brown of the 78th Fighter Group becomes the first 8th Air Force pilot to perform a strafing attack with the P-47 on this mission. 4th Fighter Group - one Missing in Action (MIA), 56th Fighter Group-2 Missing in Action (MIA), 78th Fighter Group-4 Missing in Action (MIA), one 78th Fighter Group pilot rescued.

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...

  • 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 107
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 7
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 25
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 8

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2015 19:29:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Mat-2015. Added claims against enemy aircraft to statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2015 19:27:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" , Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:21 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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