354th Fighter Group by William N Hess, Chris Davey

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 was once the preliminary education of the squadrons sooner than deployment to England. Colonel Ken Martin nurtured the crowd from its infancy, and all of the excellence that later confirmed via will be positioned at his doorstep. regardless of his early life, he knew the right way to foster teamwork and insist perfection in flying. there has been not anything extra very important than getting the crowd 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, basically "excellent" pilots. 3rd, males like Glenn Eagleston gave suggestion and warnings approximately wrestle strategies and guarding one's tail. This ready our pilots for lurking hazards, whatever the opposite teams won't have done.’ Brigadier common James Howard, Commanding Officer of the 354th Fighter workforce

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I got hits along the right wing. As my fire hit the E/A, he straightened out and I moved in close, firing from about ten degrees deflection. These hits were in his engine, and caused large quantities of black smoke. The E/A then slowly rolled over onto its back and spiralled down, and it appeared to be out of control. I claim this Me 110 as probably destroyed. 'As we climbed back up to the bombers I spotted a lone '109 at approximately 23,000 ft, tooling up for an attack on the box. I closed in from the right and pulled up astern and a little below.

At about 5000 ft the Fw 190 went into a spin, which continued until it crashed. When the day's total was added up, the 354th had scored a confirmed 20 victories, with several more probables and damaged. Four pilots did not return from the air battle, one of them as a result of a mid-air collision with a Bf 109. Howard led the group again the next day, this time to help bring home B-17s and B-24s from Marienberg and Gdynia, where they had bombed aircraft factories. The 354th picked up the 'heavies' as they headed west, and encountered a number of attacking enemy fighters en route.

Overall, the 353rd FS was credited with a dozen enemy fighters shot down. Col Howard went down on an Fw 190, and as he attacked, another Focke-Wulf fighter tried to come up under him and his wingman. Lt Robert Shoup saw this and dropped down on its tail. 5-kill ace was spotted, however, for the Fw 190 broke for the deck. Shoup managed to stay with him, scoring as they rushed earthwards. At about 5000 ft the Fw 190 went into a spin, which continued until it crashed. When the day's total was added up, the 354th had scored a confirmed 20 victories, with several more probables and damaged.

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