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  #1  
Old 16th January 2018, 15:47
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

Dear all (Frank Olynik specially),

Can someone assist me on detailing the type of aircraft claimed by the 14 victories ace Robert Charles Curtis, from 52nd FG?

19/2/44 - 1 Bf 109 down (Oblt Klippigen from 7./JG 53)
24/5/44- 1 Bf 109 down + 1 Fw 190 and 1 Bf 109 damaged
06/6/44 - 1 Fw 190
11/6/44 -3 victories over Bf 109
23/6/44 - 1 victory
28/6/44 - 1 victory
06/7/44 -1 victory
08/7/44 - 3 victories
15/7/44 - 1 victory
23/8/44 - 1 Fw 190

I am particularly interested on the 15 AF claims on the 15th July 1944 and would like to know which kind of aircraft he claimed and where.

Adriano
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Old 16th January 2018, 18:32
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

What I have from an old Excel file with no source listed:
440219: 1 Bf 109 N Lake Bolsena, Italy
440524: 1 Bf 109
440606: 1 Fw 190 Brasov, Romania
440611: 2 Bf 109 N Sofia, Bulgaria
440611: 1 Bf 109 Vis, Yugoslavia
440623: 1 Bf 109 NW Bucharest, Romania
440628: 1 Bf 109 SW Bucarest, Romania
440706: 1 Bf 109 Lake Garda, Italy
440708: 3 Bf 109 E Vienna, Austria
440715: 1 Bf 109 E Turnu-Severin, Romania
440823: 1 Fw 190 Vienna, Austria

Probable source is the book "Spitfires and Yellow Tail Mustangs. The 52nd Fighter Group in World War Two"
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Old 16th January 2018, 20:19
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

He wrote an online article on his time with the 52nd FG In which he described his missions. Don't know if it is still online.
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Old 16th January 2018, 20:57
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

Mission dated June 11,44 escort to Constanza , 3 x ME-109 credited to him

Alex K
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Old 17th January 2018, 21:08
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

Alex K, KAKI and Laurent,

Thank you to both of you! I do not have the III/JG 77 total losses for the 15th July 1944, but guess that Captain Curtis (2nd FS, 52nd FG) may have been responsible (there were two other claims by 2nd FS airmen that day, one shared between two pilots) for the downing of Lt. Franz Trowal, Staffelkapitän of 8./JG 77 who was killed that day between Drobeta and Turnu-Severin. The location matches the claim of Captain Curtis...

Thank you very much for the additional help and new information.

Adriano
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Old 17th January 2018, 21:50
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

La Chasse De Jour Allemande en Roumanie, Jean-Louis Roba Et Erik Mombeek, p77
Franz TROWAL Bf 109 G-6 (160347), Black 9, combat with P-51, crashed Cocorova, 20 km NE of Turnu Severin.
An unknown pilot baled out safe of Bf 109 G-6 (163131) which crashed 20 km N of Tîrgu Jiu.
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Old 17th January 2018, 22:01
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

Adriano

Looked up into the 52nd FG and JG 77 history books , both books are not very
clear about the event dated July 15,44 . The 52nd FG attributes the kills to Curtis
Art Johnson , Pretzer and Elmer Mendonca near Turnul Severin. The JG77 indicating
that Franz Trowal crashed near Cocorova while an other pilot named N.N. of III./JG77
was also downed on the same battle near Targul Jiu though managed to bail out or
crash without injuries .

Also a Romanian pilot by name Popescu Georghe was KIA near Brasov on July 15,44
not sure however if was related to 52nd FG

Do you or someone else have a photo of Frank Trowal ?

Alex K
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Old 17th January 2018, 22:21
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

According to the book "La chasse de jour allemande en Roumanie" by Roba and Mombeek:

USAAF claims:
52nd FG : 3 shot down and 1 damaged
31nd FG: 1 claim (I guess 1 shot down)

German losses:
I./JG 53: none
III./JG 77: two total losses
Bf 109 G-6 WNr 160357 "black 9" shot down by P-51 at Cocorova, 20 km NE Turnu Severin, Lt Franz Trowal KIA
Bf 109 G-6 WNr 163131 crashed 20 km N Tirgu Jiu, pilot baled unhurt, name unknown
(The Luftwaffe losses summary database confirm two losses that day, one shot down in air battle, one missing due to enemy action)

And I also have three Rumanian losses that day
1) an IAR 80 of the Scoala de vanatoare (Fighter school) at Ghimbav, formation attacked by eight Mustangs. Slt. av. Gheorghe Popescu was shot down and killed when he crashed in the Postavarul Massif.
2) Six Bf 109 G-2 of Grupul 7 Vanatoare (7th Fighter Group) took off against this raid but only four returned to base. One landed in Turnu Severin, but there no new of last one until 28 July. The German command then informed us that the Romanian Bf 109 G-2 242, flown by adj. sef Gheorghe Hapaianu crashed near the village of Medvedja, Yugoslavia.

Sources:
http://www.aviatori.ro/articole_details.php?id=31
http://brasoave.blogspot.fr/2009/05/...tin-balta.html

So we have 4 or 5 total Axis losses (3-4 Bf 109 and 1 IAR-80) against 4 US claims. So far so good, except if we have US gunner claims

By the way, the four claims as I have them in my file:
31st FG:
1st Lt Robert E Riddle, 307th FS, 1 Bf 109 over Rumania (bringing score to 7 victories)
52nd FG: 3 Bf 109s E Turnu-Severin, Romania, by 2nd FS
1 by Cpt Robert C Curtiss (bringing score to 13 victories)
1 by 1st Lt Arthur G Johnson, Jr (bringing score to 7,5 victories)
1 shared (0,50 each) by 2nd Lt Willard C Pretzer (bringing score to 2 victories) and 2nd Lt Elmer J Mendonca (first claim, so score 0,50)

So saying that Curtiss shot down Trowal is lacking proof, as any of the other US claims could be Trowal too.
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Old 18th January 2018, 11:59
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Re: Major Robert Charles Curtis - 52nd FG ace

77 JG , 31st FG an 52nd FG history books as well "La chasse de jour allemande en Roumanie"don't
give a clear picture as into who shot down who and at this point in time and by no means I can agree with
the statement that Curtis alone scored Trowal claim if at all !

Adding to the confussion are the 2 P-51's of 52nd FG which collided somewhere on the way
back while entering a battle with ME-110's whereby the exact loss location
is unknown to me. In addition the Popescu's IAR-80 is also claimed in form of a FW-190
by a few gunners of 483rd BG near Brasov (Gimbav ) further more the gunners of 464th
and 465th BG's who were attacked by some 15 ME-109 near the target (Ploesti )
and who later on also claimed 2 ME-109 brought down making Curtis claim even more
confusing .

Alex K
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