By William N Hess, Chris Davey
ВЂI imagine the luck of the 354th because the top crew within the ecu theatre for aerial victories is because of numerous issues. First was once 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 may be positioned at his doorstep. regardless of his early life, he knew easy methods to 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, merely "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 risks, whatever the opposite teams would possibly not have done.вЂ™ Brigadier common James Howard, Commanding Officer of the 354th Fighter team
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I could see the pilot slumped over on one side of the cockpit. ' The 353rd FS's Capt Don Beerbower also claimed a Bf 109 during the course of the mission to raise his score to nine, and thus become the top ace of the 354th FG. Overall, the group chalked up an even dozen for the day (for the loss of T/Sgt Donald Dempsey of the 356th FG, one of five flying technical sergeants assigned to the group in March 1944), and then picked up another six victories when a return visit was made to Augsburg 48 hours later.
USAAF) 58 An original 355th FS pilot, Lt Clayton K Gross flew at least five fighters (four Mustangs and a Thunderbolt) named LIVE BAIT. This sobriquet came about when some of his squadronmates wanted to use him to bait the Luftwaffe by having him fly alone below them! As previously mentioned, Gross would complete two tours with the 355th, flying some 105 combat missions and scoring six kills, the last of which was an Me 262 (USAAF) of the fuselage and cockpit. A minor explosion took place and several pieces flew off.
Lt Col Bickell led the mission, which encountered terrible weather. The Mustangs climbed to 42,000 ft, where they lost contact with the bombers — most of the 'heavies' had been recalled, leaving a mere handful that never received the word to return. No opposition was seen over the target area. On the way out of the target area the P-51s encountered about 20 German fighters in the vicinity of Ludwigslust, and a series of dogfights took place. Capt Richard Turner was leading the 356th FS when he sighted some 15 Bf 109s coming down on him.