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Old 23rd May 2019, 10:04
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Re: 343 FS/55th FG Claims on 24 April 1944

John, I've never used one. Fortunately I have been able to make a couple of visits myself and had a couple of friends do so as well. I would not hold out a great deal of hope as far as the 55th FG is concerned, as their data seems to be sketchy at best. Unfortunately several fighter groups had much of their records destroyed when returning to the US post war. Included in these are the 339th and 357th where I have never found much of real interest to me (squadron line-ups, aircraft used etc). However, there are many independent researchers that you could get quotes from and the NARA page for those specialising in military matters is at: https://www.archives.gov/research/hi...topic=military
Best wishes

Peter
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Old 1st June 2019, 00:31
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Re: 343 FS/55th FG Claims on 24 April 1944

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Originally Posted by JBL1177 View Post
Gentlemen,
Thanks for checking for me and especially for ruling out the 55th FG history as a source. I can understand why Gray might not have mentioned such a small skirmish. I did find in the WWII Aircraft Performance website an excellent analysis of the 24 April 1944 air actions around Munich itself, if not where Friedrich Heilmann's fight took place. Attached to the article was the text of the VIII Fighter Command's Narrative of Operations for that day, and that report is extremely useful.

The evidence does point to the 55th Fighter Group, with P-38s, that dived on a group of ME-109s that were attacking the rear box of the two lead B-17 combat wings from the 3rd Bomb Division heading in to bomb Friedrichshafen. The 109s "split S'ed for deck," 343rd Yellow flight making the claims of 1-1-0 air.

I still hope to find the reports for the 55 FG and 343 FS for that day and the encounter reports for Lt. Porter and Lt. DeYoung. I would much appreciate any advice as to where they might be located.

Thanks again.

Best wishes,
John
John - the document I posted on Spitfireperformance.com pointed out that that the 20th, 55th and 364th escorted the 3BD attack on Friedrichshafen, and the p-38 scores were on the inbound leg, primarily around IP to target but also around Worms where the 4th FG also engaged.

Sources for deeper digging are USAF 85, Kent Miller's detailed Fighter Pilots of the 8th AF - Vol I, USAAF ETO Victory Credits Board to cross reference claims and credits and locations.

Note; The second BD was all B-24 headed for Gablingen area, and the lead Task Force was 1BD headed for Munich targets
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