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Old 7th March 2005, 00:14
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Although January 1943 has been the focus for this thread, I find 2 February 1943 to be of some interest in the context.

In a morning action, ten US Airacobras and Warhawks (the latter from US 33rd FG) clashed with Ju 87s and four II./JG 2 Fw 190s. The 33rd FG pilots claimed to have shot down two Fw 190s (including one by Major Levi Chase) and one Ju 87. (Hammel, “Air War Europa”, p. 99.)

In reality, no Fw 190s were lost in that combat (Arthy & Jessen, “Fw 190 in North Africa”, loss list on p. 154), and the only Ju 87 even mentioned in the returns to the Generalquartiermeister from Tunisia that day was a Ju 87 D-3 of II./StG 3 which sustained 20 % damage during a forced landing at Gabes. (Source: Daily returns to the Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe.) However, three US fighters were shot down in that engagement with II./JG 2, and two of those were from 33rd FG.

Eric Hammel writes that later that same day, the 33rd FG lost another eight P-40s (six shot down or missing and two written off). (Hammel, “Air War Europa”, p. 99.)

I have an old note from an unspecified source which says that II./JG 51 shot down five of 33rd FG’s Warhawks in a single combat on 2 February 1943, but I doubt that is true. I only have two claims by II./JG 51 on that day.

Andrew, could you please tell us what Shores tells us about this day? (BTW, there were no German fighter losses due to enemy action in Tunisia on 2 February 1943.)
All the best,

Christer Bergström

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