By Tom Ivie, Chris Davey
The 325th FG was once activated less than basic 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 gang used to be thought of prepared for wrestle 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 airplane off the vessel into Cazes airfield, close to Casablanca, on 19 January 1943. After the rest of the group of workers arrived in overdue February, the gang ready for wrestle, and eventually flew its first challenge on 17 April 1943 as a part of the 12th Air strength. in the course of the subsequent 4 months it participated within the North African crusade, and operations opposed to enemy-held islands within the Mediterranean Sea. through the top 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 pursuits and had escorted 1,100 bombers with out wasting a...
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Additional info for Aces of the 325th Fighter Group
The first of these missions was a sweep over the southern coast on the 9th, pre-invasion. No enemy aircraft were encountered on this mission, but on 10 July it was a different story. While escorting B-25s sent to attack an airfield on Sicily contact was made with the Luftwaffe and three Bf 109s were destroyed for the loss of two P-40s. Single victories went to Lts Joe Bloomer (his third) and Dudley Clark (his second) and Flt Off Otis Prevatt (his second). On the debit side Lt Rogers spun in and crashed on the island and Lt Bill Russell bailed out over the sea and was rescued by an invasion barge.
During the next 30 days the 325th flew 24 missions that saw its pilots perform bomber escort, dive-bombing and strafing. The fast faltering Luftwaffe was encountered just once, on 6 May 1943. On that date the 318th and 319th FSs flew a sea sweep between Cap Bon and Cap Serrat, and left several vessels burning after they were bombed. Following these attacks, Lts Frank Collins and Harmon E Burns and Flt Offs Richard Catlin and Edmund Parent became separated from the rest of the formation and headed back to base.
Three other pilots scored doubles in the action, namely Capt D E Warden, Lt H E Eyerley and Flt Off Clifford Huntington. Future aces Capt Richard Dunkin and Lt Cecil Dean also downed a Bf 109 apiece for their first victories, while future ace Lt George Novotny claimed his second kill in this massive engagement. Capt Dunkin reported; ‘The squadron was flying a fighter sweep over northern Sardinia when we were attacked by about 30 Me 109s. In the ensuing fight I was flying on my flight leader’s wing when I saw a Me 109 climbing on the tail of a P-40 about 500 ft above me.
Aces of the 325th Fighter Group by Tom Ivie, Chris Davey