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1st Gunnery & Tow Target Flight

Flight

Activated on 1 February 1943 as 1st Provisional Gunnery Flight at Atcham as part of VIII Fighter Command's fighter training establishment.

Redesignated 2025th Gunner Flight on 24 February 1943 with a strength of 5 Officers and 34 Enlisted men. The unit was moved to Llanbedr in March 1943 and was a lodger with the RAF.

On 26 August 1943 the unit was redesginated as 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight, it was assigned to VIII Composite Command on 14 February 1944.

The unit was reassigned to VIII Fighter Command on 29 September 1944, and then on 19 November 1944 assigned to the 65th Fighter Wing.

Disbanded in May 1945.

Commanding officers
  • Roger Swain

    Military | Captain | Command Pilot, Commanding Officer | 100th Bomb Group
    Served as commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from 7 August 1944- 6 November 1944. ...

  • Woodrow Hopkins

    Military | Captain | Commanding Officer
    Commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from January 1943- December 1943. On 18 February 1943 experienced a taxying accident in Spitfire BL660 at RAF Perton.

  • Norman Crabtree

    Military | Captain
    Served as commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from December 1943- 7 August 1944. From 24 June- August 1944 Crabtree served with an RAF Typhoon Squadron in France.

  • Glenn Windell

    Military | First Lieutenant
    Served as acting commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from 27 June 1944- 7 August 1944, while Captain Norman Crabtree was serving with the RAF.

  • William Genheimer

    Military | Captain
    Served as Commanding Officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from 9 November 1944- April 1945.

Structure

Part of
  • VIII Air Force Composite Command
  • VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command

    Command
    VIII Fighter Command was established as VIII Interceptor Command at Selfridge Field on 2 February 1942.

  • 65th Fighter Wing

    65th Fighter Wing

    Wing
    Browse 65th Fighter Wing photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here: www.2ndair.org.uk/digitalarchive/Dashboard/Index/51

Encompassing
Not yet known
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Stations

Station Location Date
Based Atcham 1 February 1943 – 3 March 1943
Based Llanbedr 3 March 1943 – 6 July 1943
Based Warton 6 July 1943 – 14 December 1943
Based Templeton 14 December 1943 – 8 May 1944
Based Atcham 8 May 1944 – 10 May 1944
Based Sutton Bridge 10 May 1944 – 21 November 1944
Based Little Walden 21 November 1944 – 10 January 1945
Based Halesworth 10 January 1945 – May 1945

Connections

People

  • Eugene Beason

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Gene Beason served as a fighter pilot with the 62nd Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group, flying missions out of Boxted, England. He flew a total of 65 missions and was credited with five victories. In January 1945, he was transferred to the 1st...

  • James Burke

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Right Waist Gunner and Aircraft Mechanic
    TSGT James Orman Burke Jr story ...

  • Norman Crabtree

    Military | Captain
    Served as commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from December 1943- 7 August 1944. From 24 June- August 1944 Crabtree served with an RAF Typhoon Squadron in France.

  • William Genheimer

    Military | Captain
    Served as Commanding Officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from 9 November 1944- April 1945.

  • Woodrow Hopkins

    Military | Captain | Commanding Officer
    Commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from January 1943- December 1943. On 18 February 1943 experienced a taxying accident in Spitfire BL660 at RAF Perton.

  • Oak Mackey

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 392nd Bomb Group
    Entered service at Shepard Field, TX January 1943. Joined 392nd BG September 1944. His rank at end of WW II was 1st Lieutenant. His Pilot was Jack Clarke. ...

  • Ralph Miller

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Captured after his B-17, 42-29807, was hit by flak en-route to his target at Flushing, Holland. The aircraft split in two and crashed into the Scheldt River, about four miles east of Flushing. Only Ralph Miller and his tail gunner Emil Radosevich...

  • Roger Swain

    Military | Captain | Command Pilot, Commanding Officer | 100th Bomb Group
    Served as commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from 7 August 1944- 6 November 1944. ...

  • William Vinton

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Waist Gunner | 445th Bomb Group
    Completed 34 missions as top turret and waist gunner from Dec. 5, 1944 to April 25, 1945 with the same crew members on the Jean Ridley crew. All returned safely to the States together at the end of European hostilities. After furlough was assigned...

  • Glenn Windell

    Military | First Lieutenant
    Served as acting commanding officer of the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight from 27 June 1944- 7 August 1944, while Captain Norman Crabtree was serving with the RAF.

Aircraft

  • 41-31367

    A-31 Vengeance
    Vultee A-35B [Later variant of A-31] Vengeance 41-31367, a tow-target tug with the 1st Gunnery & Tow Target Flight, 8th AF.

  • W3264

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3264 Mk Vb, Const #1730, Built at Eastleigh. ...

  • BL660

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BL660 Mk Va, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. Delivered to No 12 MU 16-5-42, assigned to 307S 1-10-42, ROS, assigned to HQ 8Ftr Command 21-10-42.

  • P9122

    Lysander
    Westland Lysander Mk II, assigned to 1st Gunnery & Tow Target Flight, 333rd Service Group, 8th Air Force.

  • T1552

    Lysander
    Westland Lysander T1552 Mk III assigned to 8AF USAAF. Part of a batch of 250 delivered between Aug 1940 and Feb 1941. It served with 4 Squadron but had been passed on to 9 Group Target Towing Flight which in turn became 1486 (Fighter) Gunnery Flight in...

  • 41-6620 'Powers Girl'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 1 Gunnery Target Flight, 6th Fighter Wing 8AF. Transferred to 552FTS, 495FTG, 8AF USAAF. Killed in crash due to explosion Gerwyn Farm, Eynton Cat 5 damage, pilot Lt James...

  • 41-6203 'The Flying Ute / Windy'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 63FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 1GTTF, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 552FTS, 495FTG, 8AF USAAF.

Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2019 15:09:32 Emily Changes to description, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations and stations
Sources

Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual, p 128

Date Contributor Update
06 October 2014 21:32:12 Paul Bellamy Changes to type, category, name and unit encompassing associations
Sources

Mighty Eighth War Manual (Roger A Freeman 1984, 2001)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:00 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)

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