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Thread: Military aircraft classics

  1. #81
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 3,606
    I'm Lawrence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landloper View Post
    There may have been chivalric actions carried out by individual pilots, but in the main the air war was ruthless, and was so right from the start. Sorties on enemy airfields timed to meet returning bomber streams were standard practice for both the Luftwaffe and the RAF during WW2. These were known as intruder missons by the RAF, who typically deployed Mosquitos and Beaufighters to engage German bombers they came into land after night sorties. The Luftwaffe used intruder raiding againt the RAF and the USAAF right up until the end of the war: while the RAF intruders, having practically no German bombers deal with anymore, intruded the intruders.
    Yes that's a fair point, they were all at it. The bomber/air defence war was pursued with different values to the earlier campaigns like the Battle of Britain.

  2. #82
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Balgill, Leinster, Ireland

    Posts: 285
    I'm Joanna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectral Morn View Post
    Its a wki article, not my writing. It was my understanding that the red tails were the first to shoot down me262s in combat. There is more info if you read the article at the end of the link.
    Thanks, Neil. I had a read through. As far as I can tell the first destruction of an ME262 by Allied fighter action seems to have taken place in August 1944. Two fighters from the 78th FG, not the 332nd FG, were credited with the kill.

    The 'Red Tails' have accrued a few myths over time. One was that no US bomber was lost while the 332nd were on escort duty. This appears to have been a claim writen by an African American journalist working for the African American Chicago Defender during 1945. The claim was repeated since the end of the war and was used in the advertising for film called The Tuskagee Airmen. It was only when the Tuskagee veterans appointed another veteran of WW2 to be their offcial historian that the claim was investigated. Using the 332's own combat reports the claim was found to be groundless. The historian was an African American, William Holton, and his book of the 332nd FG was greeted with disbelief and emotional opposition by the surviving veterans. The vet's association then asked another veteran, one of their own, a former Tusagee airman called William Holloman to investigate Holton's claim that the never-lost-a-bomber was untrue. Holloman concurred with Holton's findings. Matching the 332 combat reprts with the MACRs [Missing Air crew Reports] of bombardment groups escorted by the 332nd proved that the ciaim was indeed untrue. It seems that the very idea that the record should be examined at all was though racist, even though it was some of the veternas of the 332nd who asked other African American veterans to undertake the verificatory work.

    What a re-examination did show was thatt he numbers of bombers lost while the 332nd was assigned as fighter escort was below average. Not quite as glamourous as 'never lost a bomber', but a great achievement and a genuine testament to the courage and professionalism of the 332nd FG.

    Properly speaking The Tuskagee Airmen also included the 477th Bombardment Group USAAF, an outfit so bedevilled by the racsim of certain commanders that many of its officers mutinied and the group never saw combat. The story of how badly the 477th was treated may be found here: http://ecctai.org/tuskegee-477th-bombardment-group

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