Air Force

January 31, 2014

This Week in History

79-Gabreski

Jan. 29, 1944: Target — Frankfurt

Seventy years ago, the 8th Air Force Fighter Command had a very good day. After four days on the ground due to weather, the fighters were able to get back in the air. The day’s bomber target was Frankfurt, Germany.

For the first time in World War II, the mighty 8th had more than 700 bombers attack targets on one mission. Eighth Air Force sent up 675 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and 188 Consolidated B-24 Liberators. Seven hundred and sixty-three bombers hit their primary targets. Another 46 B-17s bombed Ludwigshafen, Germany, because of a deviation from their planned bomb route.

At that time, fighter command assigned areas along the bombers’ route to the various fighter groups. The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt groups got the close-to-home areas due to their short combat radius. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning and North American P-51 Mustang groups took those areas further out from home station. The fighters in one area handed off the bombers to the fighters in the next area instead of escorting them the entire way.

For that mission, fighter command sent up more than 600 fighter aircraft. Eighth Air Force sent the bulk, which were P-47s and P-38s. Ninth Air Force added its P-51s to the fighter shield. Altogether they claimed to have shot down 39 enemy aircraft. The 56th Fighter Group claimed seven enemy aircraft shot down, but unfortunately it lost one pilot.

For the 56th FG’s part of the mission, planners divided it into two groups, “A” and “B.” Lt. Col. David Schilling, 56th FG commander, led the “A” group. Schilling’s 37 P-47s took off from Halesworth, England, at 10:20 a.m.

Making landfall over Knokke, Belgium, the fighters rendezvoused with the first box of 1st Division bombers at 11:39 a.m. at 29,000 feet southwest of Koblenz, Germany. On the way to the rendezvous point, a pair of Focke-Wulf 190s attacked the “A” group of fighters. Lt. Kenneth Lewis was shot down. Schilling shot down one of the FW 190s. Group “A” landed at 1334 hours after handing off to the “B” group.

Group “B” was commanded by Lt. Col. Francis Gabreski, the 56th FG’s flying executive officer. Taking off at 10:29 a.m., they arrived at the rendezvous point at 11:52 a.m. The last three wings of the 1st Bomb Division arrived at the same time. While there, Gabreski’s pilots were attacked by a dozen German fighters, two of which Gabreski downed.

Second Lt. Anthony Cavallo of the 63rd Fighter Squadron shot down Messerschmitt Me 210 aircraft. The 61st FS received credit for the three other kills that day.

Capt. Joseph Bennett shot down one Messerschmitt Me 110 by himself and shared credit for a second with 2nd Lt. Praeger Neyland. That was Neyland’s first combat flight after being wounded by 20mm fire 15 days earlier. Second Lt. Melvin Wood also shot down an Me 110. Group “B” landed back at Halesworth at 1:35 p.m.




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


 
 

 

Air Force News – January 30, 2015

Arizona Members of Air Forces Southern military training team at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base were given the opportunity in December 2014, to teach the Defense Institute for Medical Operations train-the-trainer course focused on the Ebola virus to approximately 100 individuals from Latin American partner countries. Germany Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base,...
 
 

People First – January 30, 2015

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. Summit offers...
 
 
10_20150121-F-TZ771-075

NFL Play 60

Michael Taylor, second child from right, son of Tech. Sgt. Brian Taylor, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron low observables craftsman, gives low-fives to NFL 2015 pro bowlers Jan. 21 at Luke Elementary School.   Matthew S...
 

 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” -George MacDonald, Scottish author and poet One can see the self-evident truth of this statement, for trust is earned through the actions and character of the person being trusted, while love can flow from a sense of ought-ness rather than a sense of merit. For...
 
 
DT_150122-F-VY794-455

NFL Pro Bowl players practice at Luke

Senior Airman Grace Lee Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos cornerback, assigned to Team Carter, signs footballs for fans at Luke.   Staff Sgt. Staci Miller J.J. Watt, Houston Texans defensive end, assigned to Pro Bowl Team Carter,...
 
 
American-Horror-Story

Fly Over: ‘Get On Up’ and ‘American Horror Story: Coven′

On DVD: ‘Get On Up’ Several months ago, I rushed to the theater to watch “Get On Up” the latest music biopic on the big screen. My expectations were high as I found a seat in the theater packed with fans waiting to see ...
 




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