Aces of the 325th Fighter Group by Tom Ivie, Chris Davey

By Tom Ivie, Chris Davey

The 325th FG was once activated lower than basic Order quantity 50 on 30 July 1942 and manage education operations at Theodore F Greene box in windfall, Rhode Island. via mid-December 1942 the crowd used to be thought of prepared for wrestle and the alert for out of the country accountability arrived on 2 January 1943. The pilots and their P-40s departed at the service USS Ranger on eight January and flew their airplane off the vessel into Cazes airfield, close to Casablanca, on 19 January 1943. After the rest of the group of workers arrived in overdue February, the gang ready for strive against, and eventually flew its first project on 17 April 1943 as a part of the 12th Air strength. in the course of the subsequent 4 months it participated within the North African crusade, and operations opposed to enemy-held islands within the Mediterranean Sea. by means of the tip of the Sicilian crusade on 17 August the 325th FG had scored 128 aerial victories, been the 1st P-40 unit to carry 1,000-lb bombs opposed to enemy ambitions and had escorted 1,100 bombers with out wasting a...

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Extra resources for Aces of the 325th Fighter Group

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A search mission was flown that day, but no traces of the downed pilot were found. On 5 August the P-40s of the 325th found and destroyed a target of a totally different type during an escort mission to Sardinia. While returning to base three pilots of the 319th FS saw a U-boat on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea and attacked. Lt William R Elliott made the first pass, the burst from his machine guns causing an explosion in the conning tower. Following Elliott’s attack Lts Ritter and Hartley targeted the submarine with some long bursts from their guns, and the stern of the vessel was seen to lift into the air before it went straight down, leaving a large oil slick in its wake.

When Green was assigned this Warhawk it was coded ‘28’, but he soon had this changed to his customary ‘11’ (Dwayne Tabatt collection via Tom Ivie) Lt Walker described his first kill as follows; ‘A Me 109 and I met in a head-on attack, but both of us missed, and I turned to meet him. We were both going fast as I approached his tail, but when he did a climbing slow roll he lost most of his speed. I whipped past him and we both dove. Coming out of the dive I blacked out, and when I came to I was in a climbing turn with the Me 109 on my tail.

At the interrogation after this mission it was reported by Maj Howe that he and several other pilots saw a Bf 109 plunge into the water at the point described. Victory number two was confirmed for Green. Two other pilots, Lt Rayburn Lancaster and Flt Off Bruce Cunningham, added to the day’s total, with each of them destroying a Bf 109. Sadly, the 325th lost a talented pilot and potential ace during the mission when Flt Off John Smallsreed, who had scored his third victory only the day before, was listed as missing in action (MIA) – no one had seen what had happened to him.

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