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  #1  
Old 28th December 2017, 19:02
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

There is a claim by Bulgaria's 'top gun' WW 2 pilot, 1st Lt. Stoyan Stoyanov, of a P-38, he reportedly shot down on 26 August 1944. However, I found no information on any 15th AAF fighter units equipped with 'Lightnings' that performed combat mission to Rumania and back, passing Bulgaria.
Can someone point to which unit's P-38 may have been the target of Stoyanov's guns in that final combat over Bulgaria?
Thanks, in advance.
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  #2  
Old 28th December 2017, 20:58
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

On Aug 26,44 the 15th AF lost on the leg back to Italy a P-51 which escorted bombers
of the 304th Bombardment Wing which participated on a massive attack on
Pipera . The pilot became POW at Schumen .This was the single fighter loss over
Bulgaria and the pilot attributed the ditch due to oil problem which led to serious
engine malfunction .The tendency of the Bulgarians to claim allied fighters and
bombers was nothing out of ordinary .

The topic rises the question regarding the missing MACR of this pilot from 332nd
FG which at this point is missing .
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Old 28th December 2017, 22:53
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

According to the Air Force Chronology for 26 August 1944:

MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (MTO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Fifteenth Air Force): 470+ bombers escorted by P-38s
and P-51s attack targets in Italy and Rumania; B-17s hit viaducts and bridges
at Venzone, Avisio, and Latisana, Italy; in Rumania, B-24s hit a train ferry
and terminal at Giurgiu, Otopeni Airfield, barracks and troops in the Baneasa
area and a viaduct at Borovnica.
(I believe the Borovnica Viaduct was a Railroad Bridge/Viaduct in Slovenia.)
(Otopeni and Baneasa are just north of Bucharest, Romania.)

According to this link:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...ia/LRaPmwuwWio



the P-38 was downed near Vratsa, Bulgaria.

There does not seem to be a MACR for any P-38s or (F-5s) lost on 26 August, 1944 (but as has been noted there are missing MACRs). P-38 groups in the 15th AF were the 1st, 14th and 82nd FGs. A list of August MACRs can be seen here for example:

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/s.../44AugMACR.htm

Last edited by RSwank; 29th December 2017 at 01:04.
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Old 29th December 2017, 01:29
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

On Aug 26, 44 only 31st,332nd and 82nd provided escort on that mission .

82nd did not report any losses . The Bulgarian pilot claim is not
appropriate . Further only one fighter pilot was taken POW at Shumen
on that day as I mentioned before from 332nd FG
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Old 29th December 2017, 04:27
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

82nd/97th - 26th.
43-28795
No MACR
Pilot: Melvin L. Fernow.
But this was over Italy if I recall correctly, probably why no MACR ?

On the 25th J.B. Jensen was lost in 42-13309, an F5, MACR 7995. Again over Northern Italy(?).

Alex
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Old 29th December 2017, 14:07
Rottler Rottler is offline
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

The Mustang pilot was 2nd Lt Henry A. Wise Jr., 332nd Fighter Group, 99th Fighter Squadron.
On 26 August 1944 56 P-51 escorted bombers from the 304th Bombardment Wing to barracks near the Bulgarian airfield at Baneasa. On the trip back to base in Italy, Lt Wise was forced to bail out when the oil pressure dropped. He was captured by Bulgarian soldiers and taken to prison. After three weeks the Russians moved into the country and forced the Bulgarians to sign peace terms. The POWs were freed and sent across the border. In September Lt Wise returned to the 99th FS in Italy. He was promoted to 1st Lt and sent home.
Source: An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 26 September 2009.

Regards
Leo
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Old 29th December 2017, 14:46
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

On one side the Bulgarian pilot attacked a P-38 and has his fighter covered by oil lost by his victim.

On the other side, a P-51 pilot bailed out over Bulgaria after oil pressure dropped.

Stoyanov could have shot down the P-51 and confused this fight with another when writting his memoirs long after.

Or he could have hit a P-38 that came home on one engine.

I wonder what Bulgarian reports written on this date or just after exist.
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Old 29th December 2017, 16:24
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

Here is the link to the full article Leo mentions above about Wise.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/l...7a4a78c22.html
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Old 29th December 2017, 23:09
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

RSwank for your info and in addition the 52nd FG flew a sweep mission to Ploesti and
Bucharest area with some 44 P-51's without a loss or incident .

Wise P-51 developed engine problems over BUC area
which intensified over Bulgaria . He did not report any fighter
activity which may have forced his bailout but rather his engine
which no longer was under control .

Note :

"Adorimini " page 205 states that Maj Gardner
led the escort mission to Romania , on the way home
16 enemy fighters engaged 82nd headon near Nis
though they quickly left the P-38's with no desire to fight .

By no means I believe Stoyanov would confuse a P-38 with
P-51, I therefore tend to believe his claim was not correct
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Old 30th December 2017, 00:18
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: P-38 lost over Bulgaria on 26 August 1944?

Unless it was Fernow who he claimed that made an escape only to crash land later due perhaps to battle damage ?
Alex
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