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-   -   Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group (http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=60183)

keith A 16th June 2021 15:13

Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
Two questions:

According to "Stars and Bars" Older claimed five victories in 1944 while flying with 23rd Fighter Group. The first of these was while flying an unidentified P-51B, (of 74th FS) the remaining four flying a P-51C-11. The exact model of the P-51C-11 argues this fighter was attached to a squadron. Which one?

Was Older flying as a flight or squadron commander on the sorties of December 18 and December 19?

My third of the two questions is...

On January 17, 1945 he leads the 118th FIS in an attack on Tachang airfield. In "Stars and Bars" this is identified as a P-51C but would it not be a F-6C?

Over to you Frank, because "I knows you got the answers". I suspect some of them are in the CBI victories book but I can't find my copy. It should be with my WW1 USAS and 300-series volumes but I have taken it from there and put it somewhere... possibly the same place as my reading glasses -I really am getting old :)

KM1957 16th June 2021 23:22

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
From "Sharks Over China" (Molesworth); on the 18th Older flew with the 118th TRS. On the 19th he was on a solo flight from Suichuan to Wuchange when he first met a Ki-48 then a dozen or more Oscars. I would think he was still flying a 118th TRS ship but perhaps someone can verify that.

Kent

Stig Jarlevik 17th June 2021 11:07

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
Keith/Kent

Frank Olynyk, in his CBI victory list, does not ID in detail the Mustangs used by Older in 1944. He just lists them as P-51s
Older's victories are listed under 23FG and not 118TRS as such.

I also believe the 118TRS used a mixture of F-6 and P-51s (mostly C-models)
I find it very difficult to see any difference on photos if an aircraft actually is a modified photo-recce version or not. Most photos are from the wrong side (no photo hatch visible) or from such a distance it simply is not visible.
Thus the same aircraft can be listed as either an F-6C or P-51C depending on who has written the sub-text.

My own guess, since Older was an old fighter pilot, and on top a LtCol at the time, if he did have a choice I would say he would have chosen a P-51C and acted as "top-cover" when flying recce-missions. At least that is what I myself would have done, if I had had his background and skill! :)

Cheers
Stig

Håkan 17th June 2021 12:00

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
Hello,

According to Olynyk's CBI victory list, Major Herbst (P-51C) from 74th FS also took part in this combat, claiming a Tojo, and the only other claiming pilot in this engagement, 1st Lt. Trudeau (118th TRS) was flying a P-51 when claiming 1 and 2 damaged Sonias.

Best wishes/Håkan

Frank Olynyk 17th June 2021 13:06

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
My Victory List #4 was based on the microfilms held by USAFHRA at Maxwell AFB. For Stars and Bars, ten years later, I made several trips to the Military Personnel Record Center in St Louis. They have ten or more ten-drawer file cabinets with 16mm microfilm of Air Force Form 5s. During my visits I would check each AF ace's claims against his Form 5 and recorded the type of aircraft the Form 5 stated he was flying that day. That is the source for Chuck Older's type flown in the 1944-45 period in China. I typically printed out one or two pages of an individual's Form 5, usually from the start of his combat tour; I did not attempt to print all the pages from his entire tour.

Enjoy!

Frank.

keith A 14th July 2021 16:08

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
Many thanks chums.

It seems that he is most likely flying a P-51C of 118th TRS on all of the missions I wanted details of. Probably leading the escort on the 18th December 1944.

Franek Grabowski 17th July 2021 03:31

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
Not exactly an answer to your question, but I have never seen any document identifying aircraft assigned to pilots on particular missions, except the variant at best, eg. in a log book or Form 5 (I think, not at hand). The only such a kind of a document I have seen quoted in a book by Don Lopez. It was called flying schedule or something like that, and it listed pilots and tail nos. I have never seen a copy of such document, and I do not know if there are any of them available in the archives. Perhaps some aircrew kept copies.

edwest2 18th July 2021 01:22

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
It appears "flying schedule" is the correct term. It is new to me. It is mentioned in the first line of the second paragraph of this article.


https://www.airforcemag.com/article/0107hellcat/

KM1957 19th July 2021 01:52

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
At least in Europe, the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces did keep lists of pilots/aircraft on missions. I have seen many in unit records and at NARA II although admittedly, not every group/squadron record has been found. One of the outstanding examples is the 354th Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force, where all three squadrons listed the pilot and assigned aircraft for each mission throughout the war. For an Eighth Air Force example, the 359th Fighter Squadron of the 356th Fighter Group had the pilot, aircraft and serial number listed. I have no idea on other theaters where the AAF operated.

Kent

Tex Longhorn 1st September 2021 00:22

Re: Chuck Older 23rd Fighter Group
 
I have the mission report for 17 Jan 1945. Not sure how to upload it, but you can see it at my website. Older lead the mission and it was a fighter sweep, not a recon mission. 18 Jan mission was also with the 118th and was lead by Lt. Crowell of the 118th and was an escort mission of B-24s to Hong Kong Harbor. They met up with 14 P-51s of the 74FS and proceeded to rendezvous with B-24s. They circled at designated location and altitude, but B-24s never arrived.

https://www.118trs.com/history-of-th...ission-reports

Older was with the 118th until they evacuated Suichwan on 22 Jan 1945 (mission 31). All the 118th pilots went to Chengkung and Older went to Luliang.

As for the type, according to the form 34s, the 118th was flying mostly P51-C-10s in Jan 1945.

My grandfather was in the 118th stateside and in India and briefly China before he was shot down. I have been researching the squadron for about 15 years.


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