8th AF FC kills/losses summary - 1st Draft

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by drgondog, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    This is my first published pass at compiling all 8th FC records for a/c destroyed and lost as well as missions flown. I know there are errors if for no other reason than conflicting data within the sources themselves.

    The sources are in no particular order - 8th AF Victory Credits Board for Ground awards, USAF 85 for air awards, Frank Olynyk for cross check on air awards, 8th AF and Roger Freeman for mission totals, Miller and Ethell and Fry and Olmstead, etc for individual Macr research.

    In the area of 'losses due to unknown causes' I split the losses into two categories and continue to research them. First, where enemy air existed the Unkown was moved into "Lost-air" category simply because I didn't want to taint an already good record by lowering the air loss total artificially.

    I also counted as Lost-air those circumstances where a fighter crashed in Channel or on English or Swiss or Sweden soil due to damage incurred in a gunfight with LW for same reasons as above

    The rest of the Unknown became "Unknown -all other" to include oxygen system failures, weather, mechanical, loss of control, etc where no enemy fighter activity was present.

    The below tables are hard to read because I don't know how to get the tabs to work right

    In order the columns are , Group, Air Awards/Ground Awards, Air Losses, All Ops losses (including air, weather, flak, mechanical) Accidents, Total Losses, Missions flown
    ----awards-- ---- losses------- #
    gp air ground air all ops acc total missions

    4 550.0 461.3 86 242 15 257 576
    20 211.5 226.5 39 145 9 154 322
    55 304.5 266.0 59 185 11 196 360
    56 664.0 320.5 57 139 26 165 462
    78 326.0 342.5 51 188 16 204 450
    339 235.0 431.0 27 105 7 112 264
    352 504.5 275.0 40 115 10 125 420
    353 328.0 404.5 40 141 13 154 447
    355 340.0 502.5 46 177 8 185 352
    356 200.0 77.0 36 115 7 122 407
    357 595.5 107.7 48 139 9 148 318
    358 1.0 0.0 3 4 0 4 16
    359 255.5 117.0 43 127 8 135 346
    361 222.0 111.0 16 91 7 98 441
    364 266.5 191.0 37 138 9 147 345
    479 155.0 268.0 10 77 15 92 251
    ESF/2SF 12.0 7.0 1 5 4 10 79
    ------- ----- ----- ------ ----- ------ -----
    5171.0 4108.4 639.0 2133.0 174.0 2308.0 5856.0
    Notes
    1 USAF 85 and Dr. Frank Olynyk. Some USAF 85 awards given to wrong unit but corrected here.
    2 8th AF Victory Credit Board
    3 Losses prior to VE Day, air to air, All Combat Operations, Accidents over UK
    The above data is in process of cross checking against 8th AF records, Kent Miller and other sources like Ethell and Fry and Olmstead, etc. It will NEVER be 100% accurate because of the variability of actual combat reporting, over claiming and awards against 'Actual' - this is true for both sides.

    But it is best I've seen so far - this represents about two man years of research and you guys get to see it first. Have at it and tear it apart

    Regards,

    Bill
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Man the 357th took a beating.... Very good work Bill, cant imagne how tedious that was....
     
  3. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Awsome Bill, Im going to have to study this more in detail.

    Great Job!!!!!!!
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Dan - as screwed up as my columns were, you may have mis read the 357th - it had a great air to air ratio and also great on total ops losses - because they largely kept their nose out of the mud whereas the 4th and 355th were in the weeds strafing a lot. Of the 46 air to air lost by 355th approximately half were lost under 5,000 feet. Ditto the 4th who lost twice as many in air as 355th... but they lost about 18% of their total air losses on D-Day and August 18 when caught by LW under the overcast from above and behind.

    On the other hand the 4th FG had one of the worst air to air ratios in the 8th AF - hovering around 6:1

    The 'new groups' like the 339th and 357th and 479th that flew most or all their ops in 51s had the best air to air ratios and the 56th was also high on the ratings.

    The P-38 groups that later converted like the 20th and 55th and 364th that really didn't fly the 38L were low in the air to air ratios. the 479th did fly the L and then went 51 is way up there with approx 15;1 air to air (only)

    Yeah - tedious is an understatement because all had to be built up from individual sources, cross referenced against 'official' sources, audited from about 10% of the Macrs and then another cross reference against the only single repository - namely Kent Miller. I know Kent has errors but he is the only one to put out a well researched compilation of scores and losses for all of 8th FC.

    The single biggest difference between Kent's published figures and mine is that mine has a much higher attributation to air losses as he has quite a few "unknowns" in his that I think were air.

    Guys - if either one of you know how to map an excel spreadsheet to one of the posts - PM me with your email address and I'll send the current spreadsheet.

    The next step for me is to take one more level and see if I can break out the awards and losses to the type of ship for better granularity on comparing 47 against 38 and 51. (and Spit for 4th)
     
  5. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Is this correct Bill?

    Picture removed and new one updated below.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Close - the column "ground Losses' should be Ground Awards and the last column is Missions Flown (not sorties).. sorties would not be far off if you multipled by about 45 (for effective)

    I might add that the missions flown is biggest source of frustration as I know that Roger Freeman had errors in this

    How did you do that?
     
  7. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Hopefully that's the only one. New one below.

    I copied the message into Microsoft word. Tabbed the columns. Once I had that done I copied and pasted it into paint and saved as a jpeg.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Yea I read the chart wrong Bill, and that new chart is bad ass....
     
  9. Jank

    Jank Member

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    Go 56th! -= ACES =- All kills shown are for in squadron only. Many pilots had kills from their time in other groups / squadrons:

    HQ:

    Schilling, D (22.5)
    Zemke, H (15.25)
    Johnson, G (1)


    61ST Fighter Squadron:

    [​IMG]

    Gabreski, G (twenty eight)
    Johnson, R (25)
    Powers, J (12)
    Stewart, J (11.5)
    Gladych, B (10)
    Rankin, R (10)
    Johnson, G (7.5)
    Klibbe, F (7)
    Keen, R (7)
    Lamb, R (7)
    Conger, P (6.5)
    Carter, J (6)
    Smith, L (6)
    Bennett, J (5.5)
    McCauley, F (5.5)
    Smith, D (5.5)
    Gerick, S (5)
    McMinn, E (5)
    Lanowski, W (4)
    Schreiber, L (2)

    62ND Fighter Squadron:

    [​IMG]

    Christensen, F (21.5)
    Williamson, F (13)
    Quirk, M (11)
    Schreiber, L (10)
    Morrill, S (9)
    Jackson, M (eight)
    Edens, B (7)
    Moseley, M (6.5)
    Cook, W (6)
    Bostwick, G (5)
    Icard, J (5)
    O'Neill, E (4.5)
    Gould, N (4)
    Dade, L (3)
    Powers, J (2.5)
    Smith, L (1)

    63RD Fighter Squadron:

    [​IMG]

    Mahurin, W (19.75)
    Schlitz, G (eight)
    Johnson, G (7)
    Truluck, J (7)
    Hall, G (6)
    Hart, C (6)
    Comstock, H (5)
    Conger, P (5)
    Egan, J (5)
    Vogt, J (5)
    Bostwick, G (3)
     
  10. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Now that Paul has me squared away I need to go ahead and break out the flak losses... THAT is revealing... 357FG way low on ground scores and flak losses, 355 and 4th way high on ground awards and flak losses. % flak losses of 56th low (all Jug), etc.

    355th lost 2x to flak as compared to air to air (92 vs 46) and lost 31 of the 46 air to air in the first seven months of ops then 15 in last year.

    I will have this in more detail in my new book but haven't decided what the 'so what' is yet.. (scratching head and mumbling a lot)
     
  11. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Yeah - Jank they really demonstrate the value of the Jug - FAR better than any othe unit in USAAF! It is interesting to speculate on where they would have ended up in air to air standing if they had agreed to be converted to P-51s in February 1944 when they were scheduled.. Surely they would have had many more scores during Target escort in March-July timeframe when they were restricted to Penetration/Withdrawal.

    My guess is that they would have ended up closer to 1000 in the air due to better leadership from top down.
     
  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Micdrow
    I think the header for the last column should be "Missions flown".
    And thanks a lot, Bill. Very interesting info!
    And Micdrow, thanks for the image, it's easier to read!

    Juha
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Great job!
     
  14. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Its fixed, Thanks
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great stuff Bill but don't let Joe B see it - :lol:
     
  16. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    Maybe you're still confused about the difference between victory awards and actual enemy a/c downed. I know Bill isn't, based on posts here and other forums. That's why he says 'awards' in the table. And I know in his case 'kills' in thread title is shorthand for 'victory awards', not any confusion on his part that victory awards are the same thing as enemy a/c actually downed.

    The biggest value added IMO is his re-analysis of 8th AF fighter losses, to cut down on 'unknowns', that's very big. Along with actual German fighter losses, that's one big piece of better estimating actual fighter v fighter outcome of the 8th AF. But the actual German losses could never be attributed by 8th AF fighter unit in the same detail victory awards and 8th AF losses can be, too many units engaged at the same time, including 8th AF bombers (which were awarded several 1,000 official victories as well). The opposing accounts won't say in each case, naturally, who downed their plane. Anyway the actual German losses are a separate, important issue, but that issue doesn't detract from the importance of the info Bill is presenting, especially about US losses (as well as *relative* award/loss ratio between units).

    Joe
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No Joe I'm not confused - just a friendly jab.....
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I welcome knowledgeable criticism Joe - this is WIP and I know of a couple of minor errors in for example, the mission totals... they could derive from a) Wing or Field Order, a Division Order intended only for example a 2nd SF special assignment with an 8 ship section..

    I settled on FO and WO as the primary counter - and have yet to find a definitive 8th AF document sorting out any of the total missions - only sorties (take off and effective) - So Roger Freeman gets every one as primary source except 355th (I have all of them and can count each individually)

    The air awards come straight out of USAF as it is the definitive source for USAAF during WWII. Olynyk has caught some errors but they are in the one's and two's out of thousands. I actually will go with Dr Olynyk if a question arises on the total/group.

    The Ground Awards come straight from 8th AF VCB. There is no other source... I know there are errors between the conversion to computer run on microfiche but there is no appeal unless you have a specific dated VCB memo (of which I have many).. so when a conflict occurs - which way to lean?

    The Losses in Total are pretty accurate, the losses from non combat accidents are pretty close and well documented - and I collaborate all of my findings with Ted Damick on these.

    It's splitting the losses cited as Unknown on the MACR that creates the headaches as you know some were GAF but nobody saw it, some were flak and some were weather and some were pilot error and some were something like a mechanical failure. A lot of the post war interviews of POWs cleared that up but for the MIA/KIA - we will never know for sure unless a German report helps clear it up.

    Anyway - tell Joe B to start whacking so I can progress this along?

    Regards,

    Bill
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    You heard him Joe! :lol:
     
  20. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Not suprisingly Joe, you have hit every nail on the head.

    I have a first cut breaking out the 8FC loss by type which is a 'best guess' breakout of the Unknowns. I worked closely with Jan Hey and many others in the forum network to pull together the 355th - to the point that I have a feel fro most of the LW 'victor's as well as fate of all of the Unknowns with perhaps three open questions. This research caused me to upwards account for air to air losses of the 355th from 32 to 46 from my original research.

    It (the research) also highlights that many air to air awards should perhaps not been awarded a 'destroyed' and conversely some 'damage' awards actually were in fact an a/c destroyed (fewer of latter than former)

    The state of the mid 1944 and beyond LW records and the different way they accorded damages make the real evaluation of LW losses much tougher.

    For example, if a 355th ship was hit in a fight and CL the ship in England and moved to 'salvage' - he goes to 'lost air to air' in my research - not 'damaged' with 60% destruction like a corresponding me109 badly hit, lost coolant and CL.. you won't find very many records pointing that out as 'lost - air to air'

    Anyway - thx for comments and all the great work you do.

    Regards,

    Bill
     
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