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Download e-book for iPad: 354th Fighter Group by William N Hess, Chris Davey

By William N Hess, Chris Davey

ISBN-10: 1841763152

ISBN-13: 9781841763156

ВЂ˜I imagine the good fortune of the 354th because the prime team within the eu theatre for aerial victories is because of numerous issues. First was once the preliminary education of the squadrons ahead of deployment to England. Colonel Ken Martin nurtured the gang from its infancy, and all of the excellence that later confirmed via might be positioned at his doorstep. regardless of his formative years, he knew the way to foster teamwork and insist perfection in flying. there has been not anything extra vital than getting the gang off at the correct foot. moment, our pilots have been taught to fly mutual help, and practised it faithfully. there have been no "hot" pilots within the 354th, simply "excellent" pilots. 3rd, males like Glenn Eagleston gave suggestion and warnings approximately wrestle strategies and guarding one's tail. This ready our pilots for lurking hazards, anything the opposite teams would possibly not have done.’ Brigadier normal James Howard, Commanding Officer of the 354th Fighter staff

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The 354th's first two missions from its new base befitted its surroundings, as they were of a tactical nature - one dive-bombing in Belgium and the other a fighter sweep over Germany. Both saw no aerial action. The primary discussion within the 354th was now its new base. With no frills and comforts, some of the men said it was more like a 'boy scout camp'. However, there were added attractions, for a bus ran right by the base en route to Maidstone, which the men immediately took a liking to. All personnel, officers and enlisted men alike, were quartered in six-man tents, and had to endure cold showers and outdoor latrines.

The group returned to Belgium that afternoon when the Ninth Air Force B-26s headed for the railyards at Namur. A Luftwaffe force of some 20 fighters attempted to attack the bombers from the rear, but the 354th intervened and downed five of them. 25 kills. The 354th flew its longest escort mission to date on 11 April when it escorted 341 B-17s of the 1st Bomb Division to Sorau and Cottbus airfields, just east of the Polish border. The round trip was almost 1300 miles in length, meaning that the P-51 pilots faced more than five hours in the cockpit.

Good strikes were observed and then he sighted the canopy sliding back. Simmons recalled; 'I didn't watch the pilot bail out because the other joker was still up above. My wingman told me later he saw the pilot bail out. I zoomed back up and there he was as big as life, just sitting there. I closed this time to a very close range. When I fired, the plane literally started to come apart. The strikes were all grouped on the empennage and canopy. This new ammo is the real thing (armourpiercing incendiary).

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354th Fighter Group by William N Hess, Chris Davey

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