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Old 1st October 2005, 03:29
JoeB JoeB is offline
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JG 77 Claims March 13, 1943

OKL Fighter claims list on the "Tony Woods' lists" site, gives 20 P-39's and 6 P-40's claimed by JG 77 elements March 13, 1943 over/near Tunisia. 8 and 4 of those respectively are in a second group "supplemental claims from other sources".

1. In general what does that mean "supplemental", are those fully official vicotries or some lesser status?

2. The USAAF chronology for that day only mentions an action between 34 57th FG P-40's and 25 Bf 109's; they claimed 4 and lost 4. Rust's "12th Air Force Story" doesn't mention anything for that day (57th was 9th AF, P-39 units were 12th AF). Does anyone know of USAAF accounts confirming more of the German claims? (or alternative German sources claiming fewer)

3. What were JG 77's losses if any?

Sorry if this has been covered, I did try to search first.

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Old 1st October 2005, 10:27
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: JG 77 Claims March 13, 1943

This was the day of the great Airacobra massacre. US 81st FG lost seven out of twelve Airacobras to II./JG 77, without being able to shoot down even a single German fighter.

II./JG 77 overclaimed, but with that many Airacobras shot down in a single air combat, I think it's easily understood. Airacobras were more or less "raining from the sky".

JG 77 recorded two losses on that day, but both obviously were in other air combats than the one which saw the Airacobra massacre.

Around two weeks after this incident, the Airacobras of 81st FG were withdrawn from first-line service and employed on convoy patrols with the North-West African Coastal Air Force in a sector where there was no risk of encountering German single-engine fighters. The other Airacobra equipped unit in North Africa, the 350th FG, also was withdrawn from first-line service to fly coastal patrols in the rear. That took place already in late February 1943.
All the best,

Christer Bergström
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