Air Force

November 8, 2013

This Week in History

Lt. George Hall, 63rd Fighter Squadron

1943: 100th aerial victory for 56th Fighter Group

Col. Hubert Zemke, 56th Fighter Group commander, made a promise to his group, which was to be the first fighter group in the European theater to reach 100 aerial victories by Sadie Hawkins Day, Nov. 6, 1943. Lt. George Hall, 63rd Fighter Squadron, helped fulfill the commander’s promise Nov. 5 when he downed the last kill of the day.

Just 206 days earlier on April 13 the group flew its first combat sortie from Royal Air Force Horsham St. Faith, near Norwich, Norfolk County, England.

As the Americans honed their skills, their combat effectiveness improved and they began to rack up victories beginning with Capt. Walter Cook who earned the group’s first aerial victory on June 12.

The group flew a bomber escort mission Nov. 3 and tallied three kills. Zemke influenced 8th Air Force planners to also put the 56th FG on another mission Nov. 5 to Münster, Germany, in support of two combat boxes of B-24s. Bomber combat boxes were designed to provide mutual supporting defensive firepower against enemy fighters.

Two minutes after the 56th crossed the Dutch coast, they jettisoned their fuel tanks. Five minutes later they joined the bombers. The 63rd FS flew on the right side of the lead bomber box, with the 61st on the left side. The 62rd FS covered the rear bomber box.

Just south of the town of Rheine, Germany, 30 enemy fighters flew in from the north at about the same altitude as the bombers. When they saw the American fighters, they hesitated in their attack. That pause gave the two lead squadrons a chance to gain the advantage and attack the German fighters.

The 56th Fighter Group recorded six kills that day, including one each for Zemke, and Maj. Francis Gabreski. The last aerial victory for the day went to Hall.

During the fray, Hall saw a Messerschmitt Me 210 about 5,000 feet below and to the right of him. Diving out of the sun, the enemy gunner did not see Hall until he was within 5,000 yards. The Messerschmitt turned left. Hall fired at a 300-yard distance and watched his bullets strike the aircraft around the pilot.

The Messerschmitt flipped to the left and then to the right, causing Hall to make an evasive hard right turn. Even so, his aircraft was struck by debris, but he was close enough to see the enemy pilot who appeared dead and the gunner who jumped from the aircraft. Hall watched as the enemy aircraft spiraled toward the earth.

With Hall’s victory, the 56th FG’s tally was 100.5 aerial victories.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Chrach saves lives, earns recognition

Courtesy Photo Tech. Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, pose for a photo in Afghanistan during their 2012 deployment. Chrach was recently awarded the 12th A...
 
 

Ahead of schedule …

Master Sgt. Thomas Hartley, right, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group depot structural maintenance chief and Staff Sgt. Joseph Kern, 309th AMG DSM craftsman, analyze blueprints to repair cracked canopy seal longerons in Hangar 914 Dec. 11 at Luke Air Force Base. Hartley is team leader for the seven-man depot team sent from Hill Air Force Base,...
 
 

Heating up the asphalt …

The heat and exhaust of a launching F-16 Fighting Falcon creates a photo opportunity Jan. 8 on the runway at Luke Air Force Base. Luke’s mission is to train the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots while deploying mission-ready warfighters.
 

 

Divorce comes with heavy baggage

Divorce, though a difficult chapter in many lives, happens. Divorce comes with both financial and emotional burdens for all involved. Once the decision is made, knowing what will come next can be helpful and comforting. In order to file for divorce in Arizona, one of the parties must reside in Arizona for 90 days. In...
 
 
6_150113-F-VY794-166

Test … testing … 1-2-3

Airman 1st Class Brian Dirgo, 56th CMS avionics team member, demonstrates soldering procedures on an engine diagnostic unit.
 
 
Courtesy photo

White Sands ‘Vipers’ – F-16 training thrives at Holloman

Courtesy photo Lt. Col. Jerod Rick, 54th Fighter Group chief of standardization and evaluation, and 1st Lt. Taylor Roberts, 311th Fighter Squadron basic course student, prepare to taxi Nov. 13, 2014, in an F-16 Fighting Falcon ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin