Aces of the 325th Fighter Group by Tom Ivie, Chris Davey

By Tom Ivie, Chris Davey

The 325th FG used to be activated less than normal Order quantity 50 on 30 July 1942 and organize education operations at Theodore F Greene box in windfall, Rhode Island. by means of mid-December 1942 the crowd used to be thought of prepared for strive against and the alert for in a foreign country accountability arrived on 2 January 1943. The pilots and their P-40s departed at the provider USS Ranger on eight January and flew their plane off the vessel into Cazes airfield, close to Casablanca, on 19 January 1943. After the rest of the body of workers arrived in overdue February, the gang ready for strive against, and eventually flew its first undertaking on 17 April 1943 as a part of the 12th Air strength. throughout the subsequent 4 months it participated within the North African crusade, and operations opposed to enemy-held islands within the Mediterranean Sea. via the tip of the Sicilian crusade on 17 August the 325th FG had scored 128 aerial victories, been the 1st P-40 unit to bring 1,000-lb bombs opposed to enemy ambitions and had escorted 1,100 bombers with out wasting a...

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202, was credited to Lt Warren Penny, raising his total to two. Lt Donald Castelberry was shot down in flames by an enemy fighter during the dogfights. Lt Clifford Huntington tried to save Lt Castleberry but failed, stating; ‘Flt Off Castelberry and I fell behind the formation as it approached the target. A Me 109 got behind Lt Castelberry, who turned left, with the Me 109 following. I was on Castelberry’s left, turning right as I passed him and shot a burst at the Me 109. After a diving turn to the right I came upon the tail of the Me 109, which was still after Castelberry.

In short order we became separated, and I found myself tangling with six or eight Me 109s, and was fast losing control of the situation. They were attacking me from both sides, so no matter which way I turned I just set myself up for somebody else. After a few minutes of this – it seemed like a lifetime – I realised that there was no way I could live in this environment for more than a few seconds. Our P-40s could out-turn the Me 109s, but that was all we could do. We couldn’t out-run them. ‘While attempting to evade a bunch of tracers that were trying to occupy the same area as I was I spun out and went into an undercast over which we had drifted by this time.

The action began with a strafing attack on an airfield, where five Bf 109s and two Ju 52/3ms were shot up on the ground along with ten trucks and about 300 German soldiers that were caught in the open. At this point a flight of 12 Bf 109s arrived on the scene and immediately engaged the P-40s, shooting down Flt Off George Dickas. It was a short-lived victory for the mixed force of German and Italian fighters, however, with the hunters quickly becoming the hunted. Capt ‘Zack’ Taylor led a furious counterattack on the enemy formation, and seven Axis fighters were quickly shot down.

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