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  #1  
Old 13th August 2005, 00:42
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
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Question Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

I'm looking for info on what LW unit was involved, and in fact got a terrible beating, at the hands of 365th FG, which was credited with a staggering 21 FW 190s downed in this one skirmish! 365th FG was on a sweep in Bonn-Dusseldorf area. Unfortunatelly, I don't know the exact location.

For this fight 365th FG earned its first Distinguished Unit Citation , while several of its pilots were awarded Silver Stars and DFCs.

Thanks in Advance
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  #2  
Old 13th August 2005, 00:54
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

This might help:


http://www.hellhawk.com/


Ed
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  #3  
Old 13th August 2005, 10:42
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

It was JG 2. I./JG 2 and III./JG 2 lost at least 10 Fw 190's in combat with P-47's.
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Old 13th August 2005, 10:50
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

Thank you guys. So I thought it was III./JG 2 since it was the only LW unit, at least according to Tony's files, which claimed P-47s on that day but last night I thumbed through the Osprey's "Elite Units" book about JG 2 and couldn't find anything about this event.
What's more, seems like 365th FG did not lose a single plane in that scrap! Canm anyone confirm it, please? How is it possible that a fighter-bomber unit gives such a trashing to a veteran Kanalfront unit?
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Old 13th August 2005, 11:25
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

If you look at the material losses than III./JG 2 lost;

8 Fw 190 100% in combat
1 Fw 190 dam in combat
1 Fw 190 dam (without enemy action)

According to the loss reports III./JG 2 lost 4 KIA, 3 WIA between 15.55 hrs - 16.15 hrs, 6 of those where 100% losses. So we know 2 pilots of III./2 baled out OK. Indeed III./2 claimed 5 P-47's on that day between 16.09-16.15 hrs. Among the KIA was Oblt. Bellstedt, St.Kap. of 9./JG 2 (DKiG) and well known for his exploits with KG 40 (see Chris Goss book)

If you look at the material losses of I./JG 2:

2 Fw 190 100% in combat
2 Fw 190 dam in combat
According to the loss reports of I./JG 2 they lost 1 KIA and 2 WIA. One of the wounded was Lt. Willi Stratmann, Staffelführer of 4./JG 2.

I am not sure both units where involved in the same combat but this seems very likely. Both reported combat with Thunderbolts. There are two more Fw 190 claims in the general area, but they are from a 474th FG P-38 pilot.

The "how come" question can only be answered by obtaining at least the Mission Report for that day of the 365th FG and as many combat reports of the pilots involved. It will probably give you an idea who had the height advantage, one of the main reasons for success or failure of aerial combat.
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Old 13th August 2005, 13:46
Ivo de Jong Ivo de Jong is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

Regarding the 'how was this possible' question, the Group History of the 365th Fighter Group (which devotes quite a few pages to this action!) may give the answer. As the citation for the DUC summarizes: 'with two Squadrons flying abreast of each other and some distance apart, and the third Squadron flying top cover one thousand feet above and a squadron length ahead, thirty FW 190s were sighted coming head-on one thousand feet below. By feinting an attack, the top cover Squadron forced the enemy planes to dive downwards, thereby causing them to pass directly between the other two Squadrons. The two lower Squadrons then vigorously attacked the enemy, shooting down several planes and dispersing the remainder. Re-forming for the flight home, the squadrons began climbing to their original positions when the top cover reported twenty-five or thirty enemy aircraft approaching at 24,000 feet. WIth utter disregard for the critical shortage of fuel which now existed, the Group gallently accepted this challenge and again attacked in such a manner as to prevent the enemy from breaking off and forced them into a situation where the Group was able to repeat the same devastating process as before".

Seems that good leadership from Major John R. Murphy brought the 365th in a favourable fighting position that day!
Kind regards,
Ivo de Jong
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Old 13th August 2005, 14:04
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

Thank you very much Ivo! This is an invaluable piece of info. Would it be possible for you to scan those few pages for me? Are there any first-person accounts by 365 FG pilots in there from that fight?

my address is tomlagarto(at)tlen(dot)pl
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Old 13th August 2005, 16:34
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

Just adding a few thoughts. It seems clear that the height advantage was the main reason for the success. This is seen in many combats in the August-December 1944 timeframe as the critical success factor. I have studied several engagements in the August-December 1944 timeframe for my Bodenplatte book and also for the ongoing JG 6 project. Only then when JG 6 had an height advantage, for instance on 12.9.44 or 7.10.44, some results could be achieved. The fact that often 9th AF units operated in squadron formation and having the individual squadrons at different heights made combat with them very tricky. Sometimes Gruppe formations of II./JG 6 jumped on a specific squadron using their height advantage but after a few minutes became the hunted themselves when other squadrons joined the fight. Furthermore you have to realize that the superiority of JG 2 had declined very much by the terrible losses in June - August 1944. Both I. and III./JG 2 were still flying the Fw 190A-8 and had to wait until December 1944 to get the more capable D-9.

Last edited by John Manrho; 13th August 2005 at 16:35. Reason: typo
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Old 13th August 2005, 20:26
kb kb is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

365FG seems to have been bad news for JG2. On 2 March 1944 they downed several JG2 a/c; IIRC they were credited with destroying the FW190 of JG2 Kdr Egon Meyer.s
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  #10  
Old 13th August 2005, 21:54
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Focke Wulfs vs. Thunderbolts - 21st Oct. 1944

John
Height advantage is a principle of air combat since the first one.
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