By Tom Ivie, Chris Davey
The 325th FG used to be activated below common Order quantity 50 on 30 July 1942 and organize education operations at Theodore F Greene box in windfall, Rhode Island. through mid-December 1942 the crowd used to be thought of prepared for wrestle and the alert for abroad accountability arrived on 2 January 1943. The pilots and their P-40s departed at the service 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 group of workers arrived in past due February, the crowd ready for wrestle, and at last flew its first venture 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. by way of 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 pursuits and had escorted 1,100 bombers with no wasting a...
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Extra resources for Aces of the 325th Fighter Group
Mission 44 for the 325th on 28 May 1943 was another bomber escort, this time to Trapani-Milo airfield on the island of Sicily. ‘Herky’ Green reported that Bf 109s attacked the bomber formation east of the target and continued the fight out to sea; ‘Ten miles off the coast, at 9000 ft, I saw a Me 109 far below me. I rolled over and went after him, firing on the way down. As the range shortened, he pulled up and I did likewise, firing into him. I then went over him and climbed, before rolling over and diving after him again, shooting on the way.
The Luftwaffe was not encountered, but the 325th’s dive-bombing resulted in severe damage in the harbour area. By mid-May the 317th FS was at last up to full strength, and it joined the remainder of the group. The unit flew its first mission on 19 May, escorting bombers sent to attack Decimomannu airfield on Sardinia. Future ace Herschel H Green recalled the day’s events, which remained firmly entrenched in his memory decades later; ‘The “old timers” who had been flying combat for only a few weeks told us that we were lucky to have joined them at that time because there had been little action on the escort missions, and we would have the chance to break into combat slowly.
Unfortunately for him the USAAF never changed the official record. The 325th FG received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for this action, and the survivors of the German unit were sent home the next day for retraining. The mission of 2 August cost the 325th FG a potential ace when Flt Off Archie McKeithen suffered a mid-air collision with an Axis seaplane that was marked with red crosses. McKeithen had scored four aerial victories prior to this unfortunate accident. A search mission was flown that day, but no traces of the downed pilot were found.