November 15, 1943, P-38 Afficiando's

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the old Sage
May 20, 2004
Platonic Sphere

Trying to cross reference the IV./JG 27 claims of 14 P-38's on this date agasint US 15th Air Force twin engine jobs. Bf 109G-6's made claims around 11.24 to 11.35 hrs of 4 P-38's and then two hours later at 13.10hrs to 13.17hrs of another 10 P-38's i combat. One chap that I was in contact with said only 2 P-38's were lost but that may have been for the hours of 11 o'clock but not sure.

Anyone have further details possibly ? time for research guys.

Combats south of Kalanaki Greece, Lebadeia, Arachoba, Aspra Spitis, Amfissa, Flebes and Aigina vacinity. Incidnetly Hauptmann Joachim Kirschner of Stab IV./JG 27 claimed to have shot down 3 P-38's dueing the days missions, plus a B-25 south of Lebadeia. Feldwebel Heinz Bartels claimed 4 P-38's, the last being his 70th victory.

any and all help most appreciated....


E ~
c'mon you P-38 experten. Who flew from the 15th AF to concur these losses or blatant non confirmations ? 1st or 82nd or ? fighter groups

E ~
I have the 82nd fg history and they did not loose any P-38's though they were involved with the Bf 109G's of IV./JG 27 on this particular date, so I will assume that 1st fg lost 2 P-38's. I am not really surprised that the German unit overclaimed due to propaganda rasons though 14 P-38 instead of 2 is a huge overclaim. Odd to that two well know German aces were able to be given credit for 3-4 P-38's each. Something is fishy here......
Hello Erich:

This cases are indeed very interesting; however, since I am not a full time researcher or history scholar I do not think I have anything that might provide useful elements to answer the questions you make.

When you say perhaps the German unit overclaimed due to propaganda reasons...don´t you think there can be a counterpoint for this? That is, that the USAAF concealed actual losses for moral and propaganda issues?

I tell this because the USA indeed concealed information on casualties sufered by its armed forces; it is a fact and not speculation.
not really, the Luftwaffe had their heros such as Heinz Bartels who was probably the top chap in JG 27 excluding Marseille. What a propaganda tool he was for the Nazi Heirarchy as he could easily sway young new recruits into the Luftwaffe to defend the outer reaches of the Reich. Case in point was the outspoken Walter Dahl of JG 300 fame. What a joke ! the guy as well as JG 300 overcalimed like no one else of the Sturmgruppen. many of the IV.Sturm/JG 3 claims were literally grabbed and dumped into the JG 300 claims to fame count due to Walter Dahl's pursuading personality. Many of Walters kills are dubious.

I can believe though there may have been some P-38's on the date I am inquiring that may have been wrecked as total CAT E damaged/destroyed that were not mentioned in the diaries. wish we could see gun cams to see for ourselves
According to the history of the 1st FG, on Nov. 15th, 1943 the group flew escort for some B-24s attacking the Athens area. One pilot is listed as missing though the cause for his loss isn't covered.
Lt. James McClure of the 71st FS, 1st FG is listed as KIA on 15 November 1943 in the casualty listing from 'An Escort of P-38s - The 1st Fighter Group in WWII'. No other details are given in the casualty listing, although there may be something more elswhere in the book. Will have a looksee...

Excerpted from 'Air War Europa Chronology 1942-1945' for 15 November 1943:

XII Air Support Command B-25s attack Athens/Kalamaki Airdrome. Also, while Fifteenth Air Force B-24s attack the Athens/Eleusis Airdrome at about 1300 hours, P-38 escorts from the 82nd Fighter Group stave off attacks by GAF fighters, damaging six and downing an FW 190 and a Ju 87.

No mention is made of USAAF losses but the info contained in this reference is obviously incomplete, as no mention at all is made of 1st FG activity on this date.

As a matter of interest, what information do you have to compare to the 82nd FG claim of one Fw 190 and one Ju 87?

Fade to Black...
During the war the USAAF did indeed mis-state combat losses. But after the war this data was reported accurately and in extreme detail.

If the planes were lost, it should be in the records of the P-38 units in that area.


Volume 4 of the war book series A History of the Mediterranean Air War, 1940-1945 says that on November 17, 1943 JG 27 claimed three P-38s shot down (one over SW Piraeus, one over east Marathon, and one over SE Kalamaki).

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