479th Fighter Group: Riddles Raiders by John Stanaway

By John Stanaway

Shaped in October 1943, the 479th FG claimed a magnificent heritage opposed to the Luftwaffe in the course of the ultimate yr of the struggle. initially flying P-38s, the 479ths pilots had a fierce delight of palms. They earned a Presidential uncommon Unit quotation within the overdue summer season of 1944 and have been additionally credited with the USAAFs first German jet kill in July 1944. finally transitioning to the P-51D in September 1944, the 479th excelled with the Mustang. The 479th FG was once credited with scoring the final aerial victory claimed via the 8th Air Forces VIII Fighter Command, on 25 April 1945. through VE-Day, 29 pilots flying within the team had earned ace prestige.

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Smoke began pouri ng out of the rear of the fuselage, after wh ich he slowly turned over and went down at least 8000 ft, still smoking furiously. [lost sight of him at that point because J had begun to concentrate on the next one. I closed on him and gave him about a five-second burst, knocking his aileron off, after which my wingman, Lt Dunn, neatly polished him off. 'The Fw 190s were headed straight for a box of bombers when I opened up on my last one, observing hits and a couple of parts coming off him, when] ran out ofammunition.

L a: UJ f- a...

Part of the Lightning's trouble in the ETO was that it had fewer champions than in the Pacific. When the P-38 was introduced inro that theatre - and the Mediterranean for that matter - the units receivi ng the ai rcraft were not operati ng in the same kind of pressure cooker atmosphere as that in which Vlli Fighter Command existed in the ETO. The Eighth Air Force's heavy bomber groups were suffering badly at the hands of the Jagdwaffe when P-38s began ro arrive in quantiry in East Anglia in the summer and autumn of 1943.

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