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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 staff within the eu theatre for aerial victories is because of numerous issues. First used to be the preliminary education of the squadrons ahead of deployment to England. Colonel Ken Martin nurtured the gang from its infancy, and the entire excellence that later confirmed via might be positioned at his doorstep. regardless of his early life, he knew how you can foster teamwork and insist perfection in flying. there has been not anything extra very important than getting the gang off at the correct foot. moment, our pilots have been taught to fly mutual aid, and practised it faithfully. there have been no "hot" pilots within the 354th, in basic terms "excellent" pilots. 3rd, males like Glenn Eagleston gave suggestion and warnings approximately strive against strategies and guarding one's tail. This ready our pilots for lurking hazards, anything the opposite teams won't have done.’ Brigadier basic James Howard, Commanding Officer of the 354th Fighter crew

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Capt Glenn Eagleston quickly became involved in a skirmish when the Messerschmitts arrived on the scene and broke into two sections. Capt Don Beerbower and his flight engaged one section while Eagleston and his wingman, along with the remnants of their flight, took on a gaggle of about 11 aircraft. Eagleston reported; 'The E/A, which were still together, broke into us while we were still in formation, and I fired a one-second burst at 90 degrees and saw damaging strikes on one 109. After a few more turns I was in position to fire at the last E/A and did so, firing a two-second burst from 20 degrees, scoring many hits.

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". I came down from 23,000 ft, blacked out, and came to at 13,000 ft. I started back up and got on the tail of the '109 and started firing.

Bickell knew better than to fall into their trap, and instead stayed with the 'Big Friends'. Minutes later the bombers were attacked by 75 single-engined fighters north of Denham. The 354th engaged just as another 30 German fighters joined in the fight near Lübeck. During a series of swirling dogfights the Mustang pilots were successful in downing ten enemy fighters for the loss of just one of their own. The top scorer was the 353rd's Lt Carl Frantz, whose haul of three Bf 109s (and a fourth damaged) boosted his overall tally to ten, while Lt Col Bickell and Capts Emmer and Brueland all claimed doubles.

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