By Chris Bucholtz
The 357th Fighter crew produced forty two aces, greater than the other team in the USAAF. It was once additionally the 1st team within the 8th Air strength to be outfitted with the P-51. because of this fighter and the proficient pilots assigned to the crowd (men resembling Bud Anderson, equipment Carson, John England and Chuck Yeager) the 357th completed a quicker fee of aerial victories than the other 8th Air strength workforce in the course of the ultimate 12 months of the conflict. It additionally claimed the top variety of aerial kills - fifty six - in one challenge. the crowd was once provided wonderful Unit Citations (the unit identical of the Medal of Honor). Written through Chris Bucholtz, this ebook is filled packed with first-hand bills, magnificent images and a few of the main colourful profiles to be present in international struggle II aviation.
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Extra info for Mustang Aces of the 357th Fighter Group
There were hits on the wings and tail section. ' Lt Yeager had just claimed five Bf 109s in as many minutes, making him the first pilot in the 357th to become an 'ace in a day'. Two of Yeager's squadronmates also enjoyed success. 'My element leader, Lt Richard Roper, was shooting at two Me 109s when I told him to break left into a Me 109 that was coming in from "seven o'clock high'", explained Lt Frank Gailer. 'Being about 300 yards behind, I tried to pull up under the enemy aircraft — I pulled up sharply, fired one burst and snapped onto my back as I went above the German fighter.
Yeager's flight status was in doubt at this time following his shooting down over France in March 1944 and subsequent evasion back to the UK. This bureaucratic limbo even cost Yeager a kill when he downed a Ju 88 in this aircraft on 5 July before he was cleared to resume combat. 25 victories, was given credit for the Ju 88 (Olmsted via Roeder) Lts Robert Shaw and Gerald Tyler of the 364th FS also claimed single Fw 190 kills to take the group's victory tally for the day to four. 'Chuck' Yeager, meanwhile, had made his way from enemy territory all the way back to London by mid-May.
I followed him for about 15 seconds in close trail. I pulled up and fired two short bursts, observing strikes on his right wing and beneath the fuselage. ' Foy called to his wingman and received no answer. He then radioed his element leader who replied that he had lost Foy when he went after the Bf 109. Foy said; 'I pulled into a sharp left turn and saw a ship on my tail. I pulled into a tighter turn and started to spin into the overcast, recovering after about two turns. I put my flaps down, cut my throttle and continued turning to the left.