By Tom Ivie, Chris Davey

The 325th FG used to be activated lower than basic Order quantity 50 on 30 July 1942 and manage education operations at Theodore F Greene box in windfall, Rhode Island. through mid-December 1942 the gang used to be thought of prepared for wrestle and the alert for in another 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 team of workers arrived in past due 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. 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. by means of 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 ambitions and had escorted 1,100 bombers with out wasting a...

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The fighters then climbed to altitude over the Gulf of Venice. Reaching Villaorba at 1145 hrs and stacked from 15,000 ft up to 19,000 ft, the group observed 60 German fighters scrambling into the sky. In addition to these fighters, a number of other types of Axis aircraft were fleeing the airfields so as to avoid the upcoming bombing. The stage was now set and the massacre of enemy aircraft was about to begin. When it was all over no fewer than 37 Axis aircraft had fallen to the guns of the 325th, with a further seven claimed as probables, against two losses.

One of the kills was scored by Flt Off Charles Engle, who later reported; ‘I had a bird’s eye view of the whole business. They didn’t seem to notice our high cover, and about 12 of them started down after the P-40s on the deck. My flight turned and dove after them. I lined up on one, gave him a little lead and he flew right through my burst. ’ Between 7 and 10 June 12 escort missions were flown to Pantelleria. Six of these were undertaken on the 10th, and during the last two on this date enemy aircraft were encountered.

202 and a Do 217. His mission report read as follows; ‘Immediately upon reaching the target area we began to encounter isolated enemy aeroplanes, and several fights started. I peeled off with a section of four and went down to attack a bunch of transports we could see approaching at an altitude of about 1000 ft. There were 11 Ju 52/3ms and they were strung out in a loose in-trail formation. We came out of the sun at high speed and went right down the line. ’ Capt Bunn Hearn poses in the cockpit of his P-47 The Star of Altoona, the serial of which remains unknown.

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