356th FG Record of Missions?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Alte Hase, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hi all,

    Just a quick question: Does anybody know if a record of the missions flown by the 356th FG in late '44 exists online?

    Googling it has turned up no results. I'm trying to find out if they were primarily engaged in Bomber Escort , or mostly Strafing/ Bombing missions from November 44 to about March 45?

    Reason being that Wikipedia says that they were engaged in bomber escort up until January 1944, and thereafter they changed roles to bombing and strafing only.They then mention the 356th's involvement in providing air support over Arnhem. This is in direct contrast to Osprey's "Mustang aces of the Eighth Airforce" which says that the 356th FG was in fact considered a 'hard luck' fighter group because they were almost exclusively assigned to close bomber escort, resulting in fewer kills than other groups who got a lot of strafing kills.

    I'm sure there are quite a few knowledgable people on here who can shed some light on this!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Wiki is completely wrong to set the record straight, the unit has not had a fighter group rep for many many years and remains to this day a very fragmented unit with little or hardly a reunion. have interviewed actually more P-47/P-51 pilots from this 8th AF unit than any other over the many years. Osprey is also incorrect as well. the Unit flew escort and strafing missions in the T-Bolt and later as in December 44 when the first P-51D's and later K's were available they still performed the same dual duties. the only decent book out is written through Schiffer publications, as a side note the photo quality is rather p[oor and small in size.
     
  3. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Thanks Erich, yes, it seems that it's hard to find decent info on the 356th FG. I'll try source the book you mentioned.

    I must agree, I thought that Wikipedia's information was incorrect, though they do correctly mention that this group has been inactive since the end of the war.

    As a side question, I'm interested that you say that the group had virtually no reunions- and also a comparatively low success rate during the war from what I've read. Does anyone know if they perhaps had a lack of good leadership or some other factor that has lead to the group not keeping touch over the years?
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    leadership was fine really not the point the 356th fg was just not in the right place at the right time, lack of reunions is a personal thing for each fg and bg.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    As Erich said the 356th FG was a part of 8th FC and had the same role as every other group - primarily bomber escort, secondarily CAS (mostly in June/July 1944).

    Wiki may have confused the 356th with the 358th FG - which was with the 8th for about one month before being 'traded' to the 9th for the new 357th FG which had just arrived (Dec 43) in England with P-51B's.

    The 356th flew their Jugs from Oct 43 to November 20 1944, thereafter P-51D and B's through the EOW.

    Even then the 358th flew many Penetration/Withdrawal support escort missions along with other 9th FC groups in support of 8th AF missions and flew the P-47 exclusively thoughout WWII.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    It is somewhat easier with hindsight to point that Group A leadership was more concerned about providing close escort to the bombers while B and C were more agressive about going after fighters, but it is more complex than that.
     
  7. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents about Wikipedia. I only use it to get the gist of a search. A lot is written by dummies like me who, though their intentions are good, provide rumors or misinformation about subjects and it won't get corrected until an expert on the subject such as Erich reads the article and makes the correct edits. If no expert edits the article, some people treat it as gospel. I for one, do not like to be taken to Wikipedia as my first search but the way Google is set up now, I have no choice in the matter. I believe now there is a delay in posting an article on Wikipedia until it is investigated but there is a lot out there that is unedited. Sorry about the rant about what to most is obvious but I see more and more quotes citing Wikipedia as the main source.

    Geo
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    good call Bill..........

    November 11-19th 1944 356th fg stood down to make the conversion to the P-51 and first mission on the 20th only 1 squadron flew the P-51, the 360thfs.

    The 356th fg on a side notation was involved in the hideous November 26, 1944 mission engaging JG 27's Bf 109G's and IV./JG 54's Fw 190A-8's. Incidentally this was the best turn over rate in air to air victories yet for the P-51 unit and it would of been more air kills had the Mustangs not had .50cal stoppages due to freezing tempos.
     
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