479th Fighter Group: ‘Riddle’s Raiders’ (Aviation Elite by John Stanaway

By John Stanaway

Shaped in October 1943, the 479th FG claimed a magnificent historical past opposed to the Luftwaffe through the ultimate yr of the battle. initially flying P-38s, the 479th's pilots had a fierce delight of fingers. They earned a Presidential distinct Unit quotation within the past due summer season of 1944 and have been additionally credited with the USAAF's first German jet kill in July 1944. ultimately transitioning to the P-51D in September 1944, the 479th excelled with the Mustang. The 479th FG was once credited with scoring the final aerial victory claimed by way of the 8th Air Force's VIII Fighter Command, on 25 April 1945. through VE-Day, 29 pilots flying within the workforce had earned "ace†? prestige.

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Additional resources for 479th Fighter Group: ‘Riddle’s Raiders’ (Aviation Elite Units)

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I observed a number ofstrike, and flames began to > u... J I0.. « pour out of the aircraft. ' ::r: u Jeffrey fired his remaining ammunition at a fourth Focke-Wulffighter, and saw strikes before his guns fell silent. The German pilot threw his machine around in a series offrantic manoeuvres aimed at shaking offhis pursuer, but Jeffrey sruck to his tail in the hope offrightening his clearly rattled opponent into abandoning his aircraft. However, theJagdflieger finally made good his escape by flying into a bank of cloud.

There is no evidence w suggesr rhar rhe 479rh FG ever received rhe P-38J-25 subtype - a model repured w be rhe fasresr version of rhe Lighming w reach series producrion, and rhe one wirh the besr dive performance thanks w rhe insrallarion of a new flap under the ourer wIng sec[lons. Lockheed claimed rhar only rhe rocket-powered Me 163 could our-dive rhe P-38J-25. While such a boasr could easily have been an exaggerarion, rhere is no doubr rhar rhe new insrallarion performed well in combar. Ironically, in rhe ETO, rhe version wirh rhe best alrirude performance was largely relegared w flyi ng ground atrack missions wi rh rhe N inrh Ai I' Force in 1944-45.

Was closing on the larger formation of about 40+ Fw J 90s when my gunsight bulb went our. [ dove right on through the smaller formation of approximately 15 Me 109s, which was slightly above and to the right rear of the big gaggle. The' I 09s split up every which way, with most of them > On a more positive note, the group claimed another confirmed victory during a penetration and withdrawal escort mission on 26 ovember. Again, VllI Fighter Command units were credited with 100+ enemy interceptors destroyed, but the 479th FG was unable to find any targets despite its pursuit ofseveral reported bogies.

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