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Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX)

Squadron

Formed by Col. Peaslee following presentation of his theory to Gen. Doolittle. The purpose of the Scouting Force concept was for experienced, tour expired lead bomber pilots, escorted by volunteer fighter pilots, to fly ahead of bomber formations to determine weather conditions over the target, and if unfavourable direct the bomber stream to secondary or tertiary targets. Following 35 successful missions between 16th July and 12th September 1944, flown from Steeple Morden, the concept was proved and a Scouting Force formed for each of the three Air Divisions. Peaslee went to lead the 1st Scouting Force at Honington while the 2nd Scouting Force continued at Steeple Morden. Although based at Steeple Morden and acting as a fourth squadron with the 355th FG, who provided all logistical support, the SFX was considered a 1st Air Division unit. With the 355th FG, the SFX differentiated their aircraft by underscoring the two code letters used by the three regular 355th FG squadrons. These codes will be shown as WR/-, OS/- and YF/-. The three different codes indicated which of the three 355th FG squadrons maintained the individual aircraft, which were split fairly evenly between them. The SFX initially had a strength of eight ex-bomber pilots and eight fighter pilots.

Commanding officers
  • Budd Peaslee

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    First Commanding Officer of 384th Bomb Group and instigator of the Scouting Force concept, to enable the bomber stream to change course in good time if target area was obscured. ...

Structure

Part of
  • 1st Air Division

    1st Air Division

    Division
    In December 1944, the 1st Bomb Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 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...

Encompassing
Not yet known
Previously was
Not yet known
Became

Connections

People

  • Fred Brown

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot / Fighter pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x missions on B-17's as co-pilot to 1st Lt Fred D Grinham. ...

  • Clifford Buckles

    Military | Flight Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 1st Scouting Force, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Ernest Burdge

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Bomber / Fighter pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 92BG, 8AF USAAF, 30 x B-17 combat missions. Transferred to ESF, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 385FS, 1SF, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 383FS, 1SF, 8AF USAAF. 40 x scouting missions. Awards: DFC (2OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Burke

    Military | Lieutenant | Bomber / Fighter pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to Scouting Force (Experimental). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred 1SF, 364FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Richard Dillon

    Military | First Lieutenant | 355th Fighter Group

  • Vincent Dressendorfer

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot

  • Paul Ellsworth

    Military | Lieutenant | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

  • Maynard Frey

    Military | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Maynard Frey was co-pilot with Charles Bell on "Superstitious Aloysuis" for several missions. Upon Bell's recommendation, Frey took over "Chowhound" after Jerry Newquist finished his tour. After completing his B-17 missions Frey volunteered to fly the...

  • James Kilmer

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 355th Fighter Group

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Aircraft

  • 44-13283 Carolyn Ann

    P-51 Mustang
    Personal aircraft of Col. Budd Peaslee, Commanding Officer Scouting Force (Experimental) and 1st Scouting Force. Flown by Lt William J. Doherty of 364th Fighter Group / 383rd Fighter Squadron on 10 January 1945. Was last seen in formation at about 12...

  • 44-13686 'Rugged Rebel III' 'Rugged Rebel'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 384FS, 364FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX), 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 1st Scouting Force, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) 3-Feb-45. Lt John J Allen POW. MACR 12173.

  • 44-13764 'Weepin' Deacon II' / 'Eaglebeak'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to Scout Force, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) scouting mission Dresden; 15-Feb-45 pilot F/O Irvin E Lang KIA. MACR 12377

  • 44-13699 'G.I.Jive'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 357FS, 355FG, 8AF. Transferred to Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX). Transferred to 1st Scouting Force.

  • 44-13709 'Frances Anne'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to Experimental Scout Force, 8AF USAAF. Transferred 1st Scouting Force, 8AF USAAF.

  • 44-13279 'Lois'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 1st Scouting Force, 8AF USAAF.

  • 44-13728

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to Scout Force[Experimental] SFX. Transferred to 2nd Scouting Force [2SF].

  • 44-13557 'Slender, Tender and Tall'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 487FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX). Transferred to 1st Scouting Force.

Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 October 2014 14:59:08 Pyker Created entry with type, category, name, motto, insignia, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations, unit became association, person associations and commanding officers associations
Sources

Details from "Fighting Scouts of the 8th Air Force" by E. Richard "Dick" Atkins, Taylor Publishing, Dallas, TX, 1966 plus personal research and that of Ted Damick.

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