474th
FIGHTER GROUP


(Version provisoire - en construction)
96 victoires

 

 

428 Fighter Squadron
(26.66 vict)

Nom Grade Unité Date Ennemi Avion d'arme TOP Nbr Vict
AUSTIN JAMES C JR Captain 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 2
BOWMAN VERNON L Major 428FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
CONNOLLY FRANCIS J 1st Lt 428FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 1
CONNOLLY FRANCIS J 2nd Lt 428FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 0.5
FREEMAN ROBERT L 2nd Lt 428FTR 10-14-1944 - - European 0.5
GUYON GEORGE G 1st Lt 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 3
HANSON ROBERT D 1st Lt 428FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 0.33
HECKEL CHARLES C 2nd Lt 428FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1
HECKERT JOHN D 2nd Lt 428FTR 09-12-1944 - - European 1
HOLT RICHARD R 2nd Lt 428FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
HOLT RICHARD R 2nd Lt 428FTR 07-30-1944 - - European 1
HUSER OLIVER S JR 2nd Lt 428FTR 07-06-1944 - - European 1
JARVIS WILBUR L III 2nd Lt 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 2
KOZLIK JOHN J 2nd Lt 428FTR 04-03-1945 - - European 1
MCKITTRICK ROBERT W Captain 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1
MEIER PAUL R 2nd Lt 428FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 1
NUCKOLS ERNEST B JR Captain 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 2
PEMBERTON JACK A 2nd Lt 428FTR 10-14-1944 - - European 0.5
SMITH LUTHER L 1st Lt 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 0.5
SPIKER WILLIAM O 2nd Lt 428FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
SPIKER WILLIAM O 2nd Lt 428FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1.5
TRUEBLOOD ROGER W 1st Lt 428FTR 12-05-1944 - - European 1
TRUEBLOOD ROGER W 2nd Lt 428FTR 09-12-1944 - - European 1
TRUEBLOOD ROGER W 2nd Lt 428FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 0.5
ZIERLEIN JEROME J 2nd Lt 428FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 0.33

 

429 Fighter Squadron
(33 vict)

Nom Grade Unité Date Ennemi Avion d'arme TOP Nbr Vict
AMPHLETT JACK B Captain 429FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1
BAILLARGEON ERNEST L 2nd Lt 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1
BAILLARGEON ERNEST L 2nd Lt 429FTR 09-12-1944 - - European 1
BANKS WILLIAM H 1st Lt 429FTR 07-06-1944 - - European 1
CARSON KIT L 2nd Lt 429FTR 08-05-1944 - - European 1
CASTEL ALFRED B 2nd Lt 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1
CHAMBERLAIN DENNIS R 2nd Lt 429FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
CHICKERING WILLIAM E JR 1st Lt 429FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 2
CLARK ROBERT F 1st Lt 429FTR 04-26-1945 - - European 1
HOLCOMB CHARLES N Captain 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1
KIRKLAND LENTON F JR 1st Lt 429FTR 10-21-1944 - - European 1
KIRKLAND LENTON F JR 1st Lt 429FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 2
KIRKLAND LENTON F JR 2nd Lt 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 2
LANE HERMAN Q 1st Lt 429FTR 08-05-1944 - - European 1
LANE HERMAN Q 1st Lt 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 2
LEAHY JAMES E 2nd Lt 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1
LOVELESS GENE F 2nd Lt 429FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1
MCPHERSON DALLAS E 1st Lt 429FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
MILLER JOSEPH E JR Captain 429FTR 03-13-1945 - - European 1
MILLIKEN ROBERT C 1st Lt 429FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1
MILLIKEN ROBERT C 1st Lt 429FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 1
MILLIKEN ROBERT C 2nd Lt 429FTR 07-06-1944 - - European 1
MILLIKEN ROBERT C 2nd Lt 429FTR 09-12-1944 - - European 2
PARKER ROBERT F 1st Lt 429FTR 08-25-1944 - - European 1
PERKINS LEROY R 2nd Lt 429FTR 04-26-1945 - - European 1
ROSS DONAL K 1st Lt 429FTR 04-26-1945 - - European 1
STEIN RICHARD 2nd Lt 429FTR 09-12-1944 - - European 1
SWIFT KENNETH L 2nd Lt 429FTR 05-08-1945 - - European 1

 

430 Fighter Squadron
(30.83 vict)

Nom Grade Unité Date Ennemi Avion d'arme TOP Nbr Vict
ACKLEY JOHN W 1st Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 2
ACKLEY JOHN W 1st Lt 430FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 0.5
BLACKMAN THOMAS A 1st Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 2
BLUM KENNETH V 1st Lt 430FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 1.5
BYERS JAMES F * 1st Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 1
BYERS JAMES F * 1st Lt 430FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 1
BYERS WILLIAM E 1st Lt 430FTR 10-12-1944 - - European 1
BYERS WILLIAM E 1st Lt 430FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1
CARSTEN ERNEST M 2nd Lt 430FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 0.33
CHRISTIAN ROBERT W JR 2nd Lt 430FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 2
CUMBIE LYNWOOD W 1st Lt 430FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
ELLIS STANLEY H 1st Lt 430FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1
FOX CLYDE 1st Lt 430FTR 07-18-1944 - - European 1
FOX CLYDE Captain 430FTR 03-13-1945 - - European 1
HAGGARD JACK W 2nd Lt 430FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 1
HATCH JOHN E JR Captain 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 1
HATCH JOHN E JR Captain 430FTR 12-24-1944 - - European 0.5
HENDERSON JACK J 1st Lt 430FTR 11-18-1944 - - European 1
HENDERSON JACK J 1st Lt 430FTR 12-24-1944 - - European 1
HICKOK GENE G 1st Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 1
JEFFCOTE RUFUS A 2nd Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 2
JONES EDWARD C 1st Lt 430FTR 03-13-1945 - - European 1
JONES EDWARD C 2nd Lt 430FTR 12-18-1944 - - European 0.5
JONES KENNARD K A 2nd Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 0.5
MCKEEVER WENDALL E 1st Lt 430FTR 12-24-1944 - - European 0.5
OGGER HAROLD R 1st Lt 430FTR 03-13-1945 - - European 1
PAYNTER CHARLES J 1st Lt 430FTR 12-17-1944 - - European 0.5
RINN FRANK B 1st Lt 430FTR 05-08-1945 - - European 1
SCHNEIDER WESLEY 1st Lt 430FTR 04-18-1945 - - European 1
SHOEMAKER ROBERT S 1st Lt 430FTR 10-13-1944 - - European 1

 

The decision to invade North Africa in November 1942 was not made until the middle of August, 1942. Forces available for this difficult operation were minimal—it becoming necessary for the USAAF Eighth Air Force to withdraw most of the combat groups that had reached England by that time from an embryonic bombing campaign over Europe to take part in the battle for control of Northwest Africa.

Export versions of the P-39 originally ordered for the French Air Force in early 1940 had, after the fall of France in May 1940, been sent in several shipments to the RAF beginning in early 1941 to augment the RAF’s fighter force after the Battle of Britain. However, after Hitler turned his attention to the East, the pressure was off the RAF and it had fielded only one P-39 unit (601Sq) in 1941. The other P-39s remained in storage in the crates in which they had arrived. At the same time, by the summer of 1942 the number of American pilot volunteers in the RAF serving in England had grown to a few hundred in number. In urgent need of additional fighters to support the forthcoming invasion, American planners decided to combine these two assets already in England and at the end of September 1942 the American pilots in the RAF were invited to transfer to the USAAF. On 1 October, a number of pilots from the USAAF 31st and 52nd Fighter Groups, who had flown P-39s in the US prior to there arrival in England in June of 42, were ordered to report to RAF Station Duxford England to help activate a new Group, designated as the 350th Fighter Group with three subordinate Squadrons, the 345th, 346th and 347th . (The American Eagle Squadrons were re-designated the 4th Fighter Group about this time but the 350th was the only Group activated from scratch in Europe,in WW II). At the same time, some of the American pilots who had just transferred from the RAF were ordered to the new Group to make up the other half of the original aircrew roster. Although the pilots were not advised of their mission at the time, for security reasons, the plan was for the Group to fly to North Africa six weeks after activation, which was one week after the scheduled invasion of North Africa on 8 November, 1942. The ex RAF pilots had been flying Hurricanes or Spitfires while the ex 31st and 52nd Group pilots had been flying RAF Spitfires with which they had been equipped on their arrival in England, 4 months earlier. As it turned out, the RAF Depot responsible for supporting the operation was completely over committed and could not uncrate and assemble the Group’s P-39 aircraft in time to meet the invasion plan. Airacobras did finally begin arriving in numbers, in mid December, and two weeks later the pilots began flying to North Africa. In the middle of the English winter, many of the ex RAF pilots managed to acquired only some 20 hours of flying time in the new aircraft type by the time they launched for Africa.

The Group’s 75 pilots flew their P-39Ls (346 Sq) and P-39-400 (345 Sq and 347 Sq) fighters from RAF Stations Portreath and Predannack, on Land-Ends, England, to Port Lyautey, French Morocco, during the period 3 Jan to 28 Feb 1943. Sixty one arrived at the destination airfield. Ten pilots that encountered head winds, instead of the forecast tail wind (the only fuel reserve on the 1200 mile, six to seven hour over water flight) were forced to land in Portugal where they were interned. One more landed in Portugal after losing all electrical systems. One flight that broke up in a severe line squall over the Bay of Biscay lost one pilot, (KIA)—he was flying alone, probably still on the deck, at max range cruise settings (165 to 175 MPH), when he was likely ambushed, and was shot down by a patrolling Ju-88 pilot of KG-40 who claimed the kill; one pilot, after closing on the French coast to determine his location, ended up short of fuel and crash landed in Spain , where he was interned; another pilot on that flight became lost and crash landed in Ireland while attempting to return to England.

The first elements of the Air Echelon , and the Ground Echelon, finally joined each other at Oujda, French Morocco, a few days after their arrival in North Africa on 3 January 1943. The Ground Echelon had arrived off North Africa in the first week of November 1942 from the USA with the Operation “Torch” invasion fleet.

The Group began air defense operations along the North African coast a few days after its ground and air elements came together. One month after its first flight arrived in Africa it began its first offensive combat missions, over Tunisia.

The Group flew air defense and fighter- bomber missions with its P-39s and primarily fighter bomber missions with its P-47s. Also, from June to Sept 1943 each Squadron was assigned two P-38s to intercept and destroy high flying Luftwaffe reconnaissance aircraft sent to photograph the allied invasion fleet gathering along the North African coast for the invasion of Sicily. The First Brazilian Fighter Squadron joined the 350th Group as a fourth Squadron in October 1944. The Group’s American Squadrons flew over 37,000 sorties during the war, some 16,600 defensive and more than 20,000 offensive sorties. The 1st Brazilian Fighter Squadron flew an additional 2,546 offensive sorties. Of the totals, most of the defensive sorties were flown in the P-39 Airacobras and P-38 Lightnings while most of its offensive sorties were flown in the P-47 Thunderbolts. However, some 3,850 offensive sorties , from strafing and bombing attacks to fighter sweeps and a few bomber escort missions were flown in the P-39s, while some 700 defensive sorties were flown in the Group’s P-47s.

The Group lost 95 pilots, KIA or killed in flying accidents, eight of these being Brazilian pilots. Twenty two pilots became POWs, 5 of whom were Brazilians. Another 25 pilots were downed on offensive missions but either evaded capture in enemy territory, or, bailed out over or crashed landed on, allied territory; five of these being Brazilian pilots. At least 16 pilots were wounded in action but managed to land at home base or on another allied airfield. Three of these were Brazilian pilots. Thirteen pilots were interned in ‘neutral’ countries. All were permitted to proceed (incognito, in civilian clothes) to Gibraltar, some three months later. Approximately one third of all the American pilots who served in the Group fell into one of the above categories. Approximately 44 percent of the Brazilian pilots who flew missions fell into one of the above categories. However, the Group’s pilots were able to return and land with flak damaged aircraft on almost seven hundred occasions. On the other side of the ledger, the Group’s pilots dropped over 7,000 tons of bombs and fired over 30 million rounds of ammunition in the destruction of enemy targets.

Air Forced Assigned To :

9th AF (March 1944)

Stations Flown From :

Moreton, England, 12 Mar 1944;
Neuilly, France, 6 Aug 1944;
St Marceau, France, 29 Aug 1944;
Peronne, France, 6 Sep 1944;
Florennes, Belgium, 1 Oct 1944;
Strassfeld, Germany, 22 Mar 1945;
Langensalza, Germany, 22 Apr 1945;

Campaigns Flown in :

Air Offensive, Europe
Normandy
Northern France
Rhineland
Ardennes-Alsace
Central Europe

Awards Won :

Distinguished Unit Citation: France, 23 Aug 1944
Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sept 1944
Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 16 Dec 1944-25 Jan 1945.
Belgian Fourragere

Victory Claims (in Air) :

Destroyed : 96

Probable : 24

Damaged : 54

Aces were :

(scores in the group/squadron)
[Total score in WWII]

429th FS

L.F. Kirkland (5)
R.C. Millikin (5)
J.E. Miller (1) [5]

 



Source :

STARS & BARS - Frank Olynyk - Grub Street Editions
http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/index.asp
http://www.web-birds.com/


 

 


Cieldegloire.com