Download 354th Fighter Group by William N Hess, Chris Davey PDF

By William N Hess, Chris Davey

ВЂ˜I imagine the good fortune of the 354th because the prime workforce within the ecu theatre for aerial victories is because of a number of issues. First used to be the preliminary education of the squadrons earlier than deployment to England. Colonel Ken Martin nurtured the gang from its infancy, and the entire excellence that later confirmed via will be positioned at his doorstep. regardless of his early life, he knew easy methods 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, in simple terms "excellent" pilots. 3rd, males like Glenn Eagleston gave recommendation and warnings approximately wrestle strategies and guarding one's tail. This ready our pilots for lurking hazards, whatever the opposite teams would possibly not have done.’ Brigadier common James Howard, Commanding Officer of the 354th Fighter team

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USAAF) 58 An original 355th FS pilot, Lt Clayton K Gross flew at least five fighters (four Mustangs and a Thunderbolt) named LIVE BAIT. This sobriquet came about when some of his squadronmates wanted to use him to bait the Luftwaffe by having him fly alone below them! As previously mentioned, Gross would complete two tours with the 355th, flying some 105 combat missions and scoring six kills, the last of which was an Me 262 (USAAF) of the fuselage and cockpit. A minor explosion took place and several pieces flew off.

His engine then started smoking. I kept firing and the engine burst into flames, sending him down out of control. 'As I pulled up on another '88, I looked back and saw the first one explode. I fired on the one ahead of me and his engine started to smoke. Lt Billie Harris, my wingman, who was coming up under me yelled, "Let me have him". I pulled up and let him have it. He got hits all over it. ' Lt Col Bickell, who led the 354th, on the mission, had this to report; 'An Me 109 came down for a tail pass at the "Forts".

The group destroyed 75 more German planes, but most of them were bagged in five or six missions, which made the remainder tail weary experiences, for the most part, with little enemy action to liven them up. This, of course, was ideal for bombers, but for us fighters it meant hour upon hour of routine patrol, unable to move in the cramped cockpit. I seldom ever got a glimpse of the enemy. ' The Eighth Air Force struck out after enemy oil targets once more on 28 May, with the 354th taking the bombers to Magdeburg.

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