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Julius P Maxwell


78th FG 84 FS Captain Julius P Maxwell, of Selma Alabama arrived at Duxford in April 1943, after the 78th FG had flown only three missions.
“I started combat flying immediately. Those first missions lasted only two to three hours. Antwerp was a long way to go. We stuck our noses just over the edge of the continent and then back out quick. [..] The first big fight came on 1st July 1943. [..] The Nazis were flying Focke Wulf 190s that day. […] We were green. We had a certain amount of training in the States, and we knew what the Thunderbolts would do, but we didn’t know how good the Germans were. We soon found out, however, that we could lick them wherever we found them. That was mainly due to better planes. Our pilots were better too. [..]

From the first of 1944 until October, we saw nothing of the Luftwaffe. Then suddenly they began new tactics. Three or four days out of the month they put up 200 to 300 fighters into the air at one time. The German leaders apparently had deliberately let our bomber formations go unmolested during those many months, for the purpose of building up fighter strength. [..]

The American strong point has been teamwork, both for bombers and for fighters. [..] We have the best planes and pilots in the world now, and no change will help [the Luftwaffe].”
Captain Maxwell destroyed the 78th FG’s 400th Nazi plane on 31st December 1944 on the last mission of his second tour and also the group’s last P-47 Thunderbolt mission. Capt. Maxwell had previously shot down a Messerschmitt 109 and damaged another in aerial combat.


Units served with


  • 42-8650 'Zombie'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 361FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 84FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Naubeuge, A/C damaged by explosion from strafing train carrying Buzz bomb components. Belly landed after engine stopped Ypres. Pilot Lt John F...

  • 42-74742 'War Eagle' 'Snafu'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 83FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Assigned to Capt Julius P Maxwell. Re-Assigned to Lt. Severino B. Calderon. Written off after belly landing at Duxford 15-Dec-44, pilot Lt. Earl L. Stier.

Associated Place

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...


Event Location Date


Date Contributor Update
28 March 2017 20:28:03 fugari Changes to role, awards and events


Date Contributor Update
25 February 2015 12:44:07 Anne Hughes Changes to role

78th FG Monthly Histories

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2015 12:42:56 Anne Hughes Changes to highest rank

78th FG Monthly History

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2015 12:17:55 Anne Hughes Changes to awards

78FG Monthly History 1945

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2015 12:16:16 Anne Hughes Changes to biography

78th FG Monthly Histories 1945 “Twenty Months of Combat Flying over Europe” by Captain J P Maxwell (0015-0018)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:40 AAM AAM ingest

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list