Mission#7 and #8 August 17, 1943 – the Group’s first confimed victory

Date: Aug 17, 43

Dispatched: 37 Aborts: 5

Mission: Penetration support to 1st TF 180 B-17s Field Order: 38/106

Time Up/Down: 09.23 hrs 11.23 hrs Leader: Major McCollom

Target: Regensburg

Claims Air: 01-00-00 Claims Ground: 00-00-00 Lost/Damaged: 00-00

The Group picked up the bombers and made landfall at Haamstede at 10:05 hrs at 23,000 ft, continuing to climb and levelled off at 26,000 ft. Because of reports of bandits at 30,000 ft, Group climbed to 27,000ft. Twelve Fw190s were seen diving on the bombers but due to their speed the Group was unable to head them off. Group left the bombers 5 miles south-east of Diest. At 10:25 hrs they met about twelve Me109 and made a port turn to attack them. Major McCollom shot down the last Me109G of the formation at 10:28 hrs [you can read his combat report HERE]. The Group left the coast just north of Walcheren Island at 24,000 ft at 10:47 hrs. Group was led by Major McCollom (then of the 56th FG). Major Duncan of Group HQ participated.

350th: Major McCollom took lead flight and Major Rimerman led Squadron. T/U 09:27 hrs. T/D 11:30 hrs. Total flight time 2:03 hrs. The Squadron met bombers at appointed time at Haamstede. Saw 12 to 15 e/a in vicinity of Rotterdam (scattered ME109s). Passes made at bombers from level head on, breaking down and away. Approximately 10 miles east of Diest, Lts Long and Hurst fired on an Me109 and Fw190 respectively but scored no hits. Major McCollom shot down an Me109G at 10.28 hrs to claim the Group’s first confirmed victory.

Major Loren McCollom (Gp Ldr)
2nd Lt John Zolner
1st Lt Irvin E. Venell
2nd Lt William J. Price
Major Ben Rimerman (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt Harold W. Long
1st Lt Robert E. Fortier
1st Lt John L. Devane
1st Lt Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt Wilford F. Hurst
1st Lt Melvin P. Dawson
1st Lt John Sullivan (Spare)

351st: Major Christian. T/U 09:25 hrs. T/D 11:17 hrs. Total flight time 1:52 hrs. The Squadron lost the rest of the Group when a sharp orbit was made. The Squadron swept the area of Antwerp, Diest, Schaffern airfield and came out over Walcheren Island. No enemy encountered, though many were reported by the controller.

Major Shannon Christian (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Edgar J. Albert
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman
1st Lt George N. Ahles
Capt Walter C. Beckham (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Vic L. Byers
1st Lt Harry F. Hunter
2nd Lt George F. Perpente
Major Glenn E. Duncan (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Herbert K. Field
1st Lt Frank N. Emory
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 09:29 hrs. T/D 11:17 hrs. Total flight time 1:48 hrs. No e/a encountered. Lts Gonnam and Burlingame made early returns.

Major William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Lester L. Dansky
1st Lt Clinton H. Sperry
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong
1st Lt Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Robert P. Geurtz
1st Lt Robert A. Newman
F/O Glenn C. Callans
Capt Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Robert T. Murden
1st Lt Jesse W. Gonnam
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame

Date: Aug 17, 43

Dispatched: 42 Aborts: 2

Mission: Withdrawal support for 2nd & 3rd TF 240 B-17s Field Order: 38/106

Time Up/Down: 15.55 hrs 17.33 hrs Leader: Major McCollom

Target: Schweinfurt

Claims Air: 00-00-00 Claims Ground: 00-00-00 Lost/Damaged: 00-00

The Group made landfall over Noorderhoofd. At 26, 000 ft made port turn and escorted bombers out at Nieue Souis at 27,000 ft. The Group then made a search of friendly coast between Lowestoft and Aldeburgh. The Group was led by Major McCollom (then of the 56th Fighter Group). Major Duncan and Lt Thistlethwaite of Group HQ participated.

350th: Major Rimerman. T/U 16:00 hrs. T/D 17:31 hrs. Total flight time 1:31 hrs. Major Rimerman reported heavy flak troubling bombers a few miles south of Antwerp. No e/a encountered.

Major Ben Rimerman (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Robert N. Ireland
1st Lt Harold W. Long
2nd Lt William F. Tanner
1st Lt Irvin E. Venell (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt William J. Price
1st Lt John L. Devane
2nd Lt John Zolner
1st Lt Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt John Sullivan
1st Lt Wilford F. Hurst
1st Lt Melvin P. Dawson
1st Lt Robert L. Newman (Spare)
2nd Lt Joseph F. Furness (Spare)

351st: Major McCollom. T/U 15:54 hrs. T/D 17:34 hrs. Total flight time 1:40 hrs.

Major Loren G. McCollom (Gp & Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt William T. Thistlethwaite
1st Lt Vic L. Byers
2nd Lt Benedict E Kraft
Major Shannon Christian (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt William J. Maguire
1st Lt Frederick H. Lefebre
2nd Lt John G. Treitz
Capt Walter C. Beckham (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Gordon B. Compton
1st Lt David C. Kenney
2nd Lt Harold J. Morris
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Richard D. Stanley
1st Lt Harry F. Hunter
2nd Lt George F. Perpente

352nd: Major Duncan. T/U 15:58 hrs. T/D 17:34 hrs. Total flight time 1:36 hrs. Withdrawal support to Malings and St Nicholas. Lt. Vogel made an early return.

Major Glenn E. Duncan (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Leroy W. Ista
1st Lt Jesse W. Gonnam
1st Lt William F. Streit
1st Lt Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer
1st Lt Edward M. Fogarty
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame
Capt Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt William J. Jordan
1st Lt Robert P. Geurtz
2nd Lt Victor L. Vogel
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