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|Details:||Trained for combat with P-47's. Moved to England in Nov 1943. Assigned to Ninth AF.
Flew first mission, escorting B-24's that attacked V-weapon launching sites near Pas de Calais, on 8 Feb 1944. Until Apr 1944, engaged chiefly in escorting bombers that struck factories, railroads, airfields, and other targets on the Continent. Repeatedly attacked communications in northern France and in Belgium during Apr and May, in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. Escorted C-47's that dropped paratroops over Normandy on 6 and 7 Jun. Afterward, engaged primarily in interdictory and close-support activities, flying strafing and dive-bombing missions designed to assist the operations of ground forces.
Moved to the Continent early in Jul 1944 and bombed enemy troops to aid the Allied breakthrough at St Lo later that month. Supported the subsequent advance of ground forces toward the Rhine by attacking railroads, trucks, bridges, power stations, fuel dumps, and other facilities.
Received a DUC for a mission against the harbor at Brest on 25 Aug 1944 when, in spite of heavy overcast and intense enemy fire, the group attacked at low altitude, hitting naval installations, cruisers, troop transports, merchant vessels, and other objectives. Bombed and strafed such targets as flak positions, armored vehicles, and troop concentrations during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945.
Received second DUC for action over the Moselle-Rhine River triangle: despite the intense antiaircraft fire encountered while flying armed reconnaissance in close cooperation with infantry forces in that area on 16 Mar 1945, the group hit enemy forces, equipment, and facilities, its targets including motor transports, armored vehicles, railroads, railway cars, and gun emplacements. Continued operations until 1 May 1945. Returned to the US Aug-Sep 1945. Trained with P-51's. Inactivated on 1 Aug 1946.
Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986
|Accident Reports:||Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group:|