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.


 
 

 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

Luke ‘deploys’ youngest Airmen

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Gabriel Gutierrez, age 5, son of Staff Sgt. Arlene Gutierrez, 56th Security Forces Squadron, gives high fives as he goes through the welcome home line during Operation KIDS Saturday at Luke Air Forces Bas...
 
 

Warrior ethos puts will to test

It is important for us as warriors to put our physical fitness test in proper perspective. Airmen need to be physically able to do their job, and currently the Air Force measures their fitness with a simple test. This article is not to debate if the current test actually gives an accurate indication of fitness...
 
 

You, too, can empower innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of progress. Without it we wouldn’t have the automobile, airplane or computer. We may have never made it to an industrial revolution. At every level of our species, from the individual level to the societal level, compelling change is how we grow, and it is innovators that drive this. In the...
 

 
Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer

CES inspects base infrastructure

Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer Staff Sgt. Steven Stein, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical subject matter expert, points out a damaged water heater Oct. 24 to Senior Airman Sandham Challis, 56th CES structural subject matter exp...
 
 

News Briefs October 31, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct a base-wide exercise Wednesday. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting individ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Airman changes lanes in life

Courtesy photo Airman 1st Class Kelton Rall Those who have had a hard life often say it is hard to overcome the past. “It’s almost like climbing out of a dark hole – one mistake and you fall deeper into the abyss,” said...
 




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