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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

With the conversion of the 55th Fighter Group from P-38s to P-51s, the Eighth acquires a majority of P-51 groups to provide longer-range high-altitude escort for the heavy bombers. Conversion to P-51s will continue until by the end of the year every group except 1 will be equipped with them.

Mission 472: In a morning mission 319 of 359 B-17s drop 3,700 containers of supplies to French interior forces in S France; they claim 5-2-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 15 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 465 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.

Mission 473: During the evening 131 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields in France; 54 hit Montdidier Airfield and 39 hit Peronne Airfield; 9 B-24s are damaged. 40 other B-24s fail to bomb because of failure of blind-bombing equipment. Escort is provided by 79 P-38s and P-51s; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair.

94 of 100 P-38s fly fighter-bomber missions against rail targets E and SE of Paris; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 is lost (pilot is MIA).

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,