By John Stanaway
Shaped in October 1943, the 479th FG claimed a powerful historical past opposed to the Luftwaffe in the course of the ultimate 12 months of the struggle. initially flying P-38s, the 479th's pilots had a fierce satisfaction of palms. They earned a Presidential distinctive Unit quotation within the overdue summer season of 1944 and have been additionally credited with the USAAF's first German jet kill in July 1944. finally transitioning to the P-51D in September 1944, the 479th excelled with the Mustang. The 479th FG was once credited with scoring the final aerial victory claimed through the 8th Air Force's VIII Fighter Command, on 25 April 1945. by way of VE-Day, 29 pilots flying within the workforce had earned ace prestige.
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Additional resources for 479th Fighter Group: Riddle's Raiders (Aviation Elite Units)
I would lead A group, with the 434th FS up fronr. The day didn't look roo bad as we rook off, but once we headed out over the sea cloud starred ro build up ahead. By the time we had idenrifled the wing of B-24s we were ro escorr, great stacks of cumulus rose three ro four miles high from the ground. Every now and then the Liberarors would disappear from view, and for safery we had ro dodge around or over the mass of clouds. Conrrails persisted and the vapours turned ro rime ice as we cut through.
Opening fire, 1observed strikes on the left wing and fuselage. r overshot and pulled up, before coming down on him again. I opened fire once more, and had closed to 200 yards from dead astern when the enemy aircraft suddenly started down in a spi ral to the right, out of control- the spiral was almost a spi n. The enemy aircraft did about three complete turns from 5000 ft and crashed into the ground. ' Lt john Donnell of the 434th also hased a Bf 109 down through the clouds before finally despatching it at almost ground level.
The "single-engine drivers" looked on in awe, wirh jusr a linle envy mixed in. ' The 'Lr Tucker' who panicipared in rhis demonstrarion flighr was Alben Tucker J 1', who had been shor down by flak on 22 June 1944. In April 2008 he wrore a lerrer w James Hollingswonh's son, Tom, in which he offered a hearty endorsemenr of rhe Lighming; w ex> < m :n en c en This brand-new P-51D was photographed shortly after it had been assigned to the 479th FG, as indicated by the fighter's lack of codes and artwork (Tabatt collection!