Historical Research aids - 8th AF during WWII

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by drgondog, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #1 drgondog, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
    The latest debate regarding the 'what if' of different outcomes to P-38 history in northern Europe exposed a lack of knowledge regarding how to tap resources to develop Information from available data.. the following sources in one way or another helped me develop, over 30+ years, extensive data bases on 8th AF Operations (as well as 9th AF and 15AF(WIP))

    The obvious and easiest step is to acquire a large reference library regarding aircraft and combat units;

    Among the very well researched and presented histories, including my own as it may approach a high standard of scholarship in comparison - though limited to only one combat unit, the 355th FG. Here are the ones I found richest in both research and data presented ..some of my library illustrated below
    1. To War With the Oxford Boys – 357FG
    2. The Pioneer Mustang Group – 354FG
    3. Escort to Berlin – 4FG
    4. Bluenose Bastards of Bodney – 352FG
    5. The 356th FG in World War II- 356FG
    6. Our Might Always, History of the 355th FG WWII-355FG
    7. Beware the Thunderbolt-56FG
    8. The Debden Warbirds-4FG
    9. The 479th Fighter Group in WWII-479FG
    10. The Duxford Eagles-78FG
    11. Slybirds – 353FG
    etc

    The General Research - broad based mostly at day by day summary level for the 8th AF include:
    1. Fighter Units and Pilots of the Eighth Air Force
    2. The Mighty Eighth War Diary and the Mighty Eighth
    3. Day Fighters in Defense of the Reich (LW POV)

    Detail Research - 8th AF Losses/Credits - a/c sq code/serial number, BS/BG FS/FG, Pilot, MACR info, VC's etc
    1. Fighter Units an Pilots of the 8th Air Force
    2. The Mighty Eighth Combat Chronology - Heavy Bombardment and Fighter Activities
    3. All of the Fighter Group Histories named above with variations
    4. The Mighty Eighth War Diary (Summary detail including targets losses and fighter victory credits (by Group only)
    5. Tony Wood – LW victory Credit lists
    6. A variety of LW histories JG 26, JG 3, JG 300, etc
    Detail Research - All US 8th AF Air Victory Credits by pilot, then date/aircraft flown, a/c victory credit and type a/c.
    1. Stars and Bars (All US WWII/Korea/Vietnam aces info as above
    2. Fighter Units and Pilots of the Eighth Air Force.(All 8th AF, all pilots, etc)
    3. USAF Study 85 plus updates at USAFHRC (this is what USAF Only recognizes)
    Detail Research - All US AF Air and Ground Victory Credits by pilot and unit by date and by summary, including type a/c claimed in the detail listing
    1. 8th Air Force Victory Credit Board - June 1945
    2. Fighter Pilots and Units of the 8th AF

    Detail Research for aircraft serial numbers, model type, unit, squadron code
    No single Repository - must research the following
    1. Mustang - The Story of the P-51 for production data, model differences, etc
    2. P-38 Lightning at War (not as comprehensive as Mustang)
    3. Unit by unit Control Tower Logs (most missing)
    4. Missing Aircrew Reports - Fold3.com
    5. Combat Unit Histories (variable quality and detail)
    6. Accident Reports
    7. USAAF unit records for each aircraft (serial number, type, location, history)
    8. Joebaugher.com website, Aviationarcheology.com website, etc

    Command Decision/Historical Insight
    1. Air Force Spoken Here - General Eaker and Command of the Air
    2. I Could Never Be So Lucky Again - Jimmy Doolittle
    3. A Few Great Captains, Volume I and II
    4. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and Inside the Third Reich
    5. Adolph Galland - the Authorized Biography

    The above selections will assist you in most 8th AF research endeavors - but All contain contradictory data and must be systematically rooted out
     
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  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #3 Njaco, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
    Have a few of those myself!

    Bill, what do you think of Dr. Alfred Price?
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Njaco I have several of Dr. Price's books, including the Luftwaffe Data Book and have found them to contain as reliable a compendium of Data as anyone else.

    Another good narrative overview is The Rise and Fall of The German Air Force which was compiled by a series of experts on the order of the RAF Air Ministry Council, drawing on many Air Ministry Intelligence Branch personnel for research. It served as a classified 'official history' as a teaching tool to RAF staff. It has extensive in-depth discussion of planning, operations and data regarding TO&E.

    Phoenix Triumphant - The Rise of the Luftwaffe and Eagle in Flames - the Fall of the Luftwaffe by E.R Hooton is the third set I have used when I have questions about tables of organization and command structure and there is disagreement between two prime sources.
     
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  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I have developed several comprehensive 8th and 9th FC data bases - 8th 'complete', 9th - '80' complete due to some missing loss data not in MACR's

    The one crown jewel is similar to Dr Frank Olynyk's, but in several excel spreadsheets which I have to convert to Access to reduce search workload.

    This is the one that has every 8th and 9th AF fighter pilot (name, rank, serial number) that ever received an air victory credit, what type a/c flown, unit, date, etc. I am now nearly completed with the data regarding matching all the ground credits to the pilot and unit and date as well as the type a/c destroyed, probable and damaged.

    The USAF 85 has no data on either type a/c destroyed, or type a/c used nor any data on Damaged or Probable so all the data has to be reconstructed from the detailed records of both USAF 85 and the 8th AF Victory Credits Board (~12,000 typed records), cross reference names and serial numbers and unit and do block summary checks.

    The prime difference between Frank's work and mine ist that his is as complete as existing records from 1945 forward can be extracted - AND he has them all for ALL US pilot air victory credits (AF, USN, USMC, AVG, etc)
     
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