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Bremspropeller

What is your favourite Fighter Group?

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Posted (edited)

Salute fellers, what is your favourite Fighter Group and why'd you pick this particular group?

 

As more american fighters are coming up in the pipeline, more Fighter Groups are becoming "payable" and I wonder which one is your favourite.

There seem to be the "easy picks" (e.g. 4th and 56th), but some might have less obvious reasons than kill-counts to pick a favourite fighter group.

 

Feel free to chose from any theater of operation and any Air Force (8th, 9th, 13th, etc.).

 

Part reason of my question: It's hard for me to pick one. Some had the kill-counts, others were instrumental in developing procedures, others were *just* very reliable and lost the fewest bombers...

Edited by Bremspropeller

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Posted (edited)

No. 11 Group.

 

Edit: I know it's not what you are asking for and that I'm being a tad facetious, but No.11 Group Fighter Command bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe attacks during the Battle of Britain. So, as a Brit, it's my favourite.

Cheers.

Edited by Red_Cat

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Posted (edited)

343rd

sorry didnt understod you ment usaf only, my bad :)

why?:

they had best pilots and were defending homeland at that time heavy outnumbered

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by 77.CountZero
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Posted (edited)

Mine has always been the 4thFG. In the beginning it might have been because it was the first fighter group I'd read about but it became more than that. Most of all it was because I grew to admire their longest serving leader Col. Don Blakeslee. Truly a man to admire for his courage, leadership and accomplishments. The group itself had many aces, long serving pilots and was the first U.S.A.A.F. group to fight in Europe, as they transitioned from the RAF Eagle Squadrons. And finally because they flew those beautiful red nosed Mustangs.

Edited by Rjel
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57th GIAP.

Why? Spitfires of course.

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3 hours ago, 77.CountZero said:

343rd

 

why?:

they had best pilots and were defending homeland at that time heavy outnumbered

Whatd they fly (away from my computer now and not really in a position to search)

JG26 ever since I read Caldwells excellent book about the "Boys from Abbeville" when I was much younger.

For the US the 357th FG.  Because they were a really good FG with their mustangs. 

I dont recall the VMF # of the Black Sheep squadron either but of course theyre a favorite for me.. Because of the colorful exploits with Boyington

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Posted (edited)

64 th sentai because they flown Hayabusa.... and 343 ku , n1k2.

Edited by PatCartier
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Sublime said:

Whatd they fly (away from my computer now and not really in a position to search)

JG26 ever since I read Caldwells excellent book about the "Boys from Abbeville" when I was much younger.

For the US the 357th FG.  Because they were a really good FG with their mustangs. 

I dont recall the VMF # of the Black Sheep squadron either but of course theyre a favorite for me.. Because of the colorful exploits with Boyington

Mostly differant variants of N1K fighters, in il-2 1946 F4U vs N1K was great match up, lot of fun on late PTO maps

Edited by 77.CountZero
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1 hour ago, 77.CountZero said:

Mostly differant variants of N1K fighters, in il-2 1946 F4U vs N1K was great match up, lot of fun on late PTO maps

Oooh very interesting I want to look them up now. I actually thought you were referencing a Russian unit.

That WAS a great match up.  Theres a guy called Fishyyy on youtube that has some good Il2 46 vids.  Especially the multiplayer ones where they hunt bomber swarms ( one where theyre flying German jets against Soviet Tu4s IIRC) 

Hope youre well btw

3 hours ago, dburne said:

57th GIAP.

Why? Spitfires of course.

Gaming sometimes can lead to interesting historical discoveries.

Its interesting to me to note the Russians seemed to compose squadrons by type but also mixed but only planes from the same maker.

E.g. Lavochkin only squads in the Kuban, squadrons that seem to only fly lend lease, etc.

I guess its really not different than other countries but its still interesting to see as it seems many squadrons flew Laggs, La5s, FNs, then La7s etc.

Or Yaks yak1, 1b, yak 9 etc.

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Guys, I think he is specifically asking about USAAF Fighter Groups.

 

I don't have a "favourite Fighter Group", but the 49th Fighter Group (Fifth Air Force) would be a contender if I had to have one. "Kill counts" and "Aces" are of limited interest to me, so R. Bong isn't a factor. Instead, I care about the overall campaign(s) a unit was involved in and thus basically all 5th, 10th, 13th, and 14th Air Force units would be eligible.

Honourable mention: 27th Fighter Bomber Group.

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1 hour ago, =27=Davesteu said:

Guys, I think he is specifically asking about USAAF Fighter Groups.

 

I was, but I didn't want to be a wisecrack to people. :ph34r:

I'm very much interested in why people like a specific outfit.

 

1 hour ago, =27=Davesteu said:

I don't have a "favourite Fighter Group", but the 49th Fighter Group (Fifth Air Force) would be a contender if I had to have one. "Kill counts" and "Aces" are of limited interest to me, so R. Bong isn't a factor. Instead, I care about the overall campaign(s) a unit was involved in and thus basically all 5th, 10th, 13th, and 14th Air Force units would be eligible.

Honourable mention: 27th Fighter Bomber Group. 

 

Didn't Bong fly as a "detatched" guy anyway?

Any particular reason for the 27th FBG?

 

1 hour ago, MeoW.Scharfi said:

III./JG27 and II./JG52!

 

Both are 109-outfits, so the chioce seems natural for you.

Any deeper reasons for those two Gruppen?

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Toughie.

352nd primarily due to the aircraft flown (Jug then Mustang) color scheme, aces it produced (especially by the 487th) and the fact that I got to know several of the pilots before they passed because of some extensive interviewing.The amount of information that I’m in possession of for this group is a rare thing.

 

Also the 474th and 365th (9th AFJugs)

Mostly due to the Jug itself and the amount I’ve read about each.

 

All that said there are so many units, and their stories are mostly lost to history. Circumstances (mostly a long-lived post-war squadron organization) allowed the 352nd’s story to become well documented, if mostly in now out of print books produced by the squadron itself.

A few books are widely available by Ivie and one by Stout, but they are cliff notes compared to the books put out by the squadron itself.

 

Point is, if more squadrons had been so long-lived, I’d likely have more favorites.

78thFG for me as well just for those paint jobs.

 

 

 

 

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Checkertails: Because greatness.

AVG: Because P40s and their exemplary record before being absorbed into the USAAF, and afterwards as well.

68th. Sentai:  Flew the Ki61 in the most inhospitable theater of the war, New Guinea.

22nd. Sentai: Introduced the Ki 84 to combat.

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Well he wasn’t after Japanese squads.

In that case for me - all of them!

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I could have added an RAF one as well...

Actually, I think I will.

 

Number 6 Squadron.  Why?  Flew Hurricanes on anti armor missions (dangerous work indeed) in North Africa, and one of the BlitzPigs belonged to No. 6 when they deployed to Bosnia on Jaguars.

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 Normandie Niemen

 

They went to help save Stalingrad, delays had them be part of the victory offensive until the very end. They fought bitterly (half the first squadron, including its leaders, died inthe battle for Kurk), germans had them assassinated when they had to bail or crash on ennemy held territory, they flew the great Yak fighters, they had our most victorious pilot (Marcel Albert), their Yak 3 with grey livery and french cocarde on the propeller hub, with the side arrow just look fantastic.

 

As solid N°2s (ex aequo), Squadron 3 RAF (they had, for a while, our most famous ace -pierre clostermann- with his iconic JF-E Tempest) , 357Fg, 363fs, for both the paintjob on its late Mustangs and its two legends, Bud Anderson and Chuck Yeager, and last but not least VMF 214, for both its inverted gull wings and its alcooholic catch referee.

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Granted I'm not that interested in USAAF units however I'd go for the 80th FG, the Burma Banshees, as some time ago I did some skins for them in the old game and was impressed with the skulls they used as nose art on their P-40s... all the more striking these days as it feels like most P-40s have those shark mouths on 'em. A pity the 80th didn't continue with it when they converted to the P-47.

Outside of the USAAF I'm a fan of 122 Wing, 2nd TAF, specifically once the Tempests took over.

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in the West is it the JG26 and in the East each Schlachtgeschwader :biggrin:

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56th Fighter Group, 8th AF.  Flew P-47 thunderbolts throughout the war and refused to give them up when the 8th switched to the P-51. Was one of the top scoring group in Europe. The 56th also had many aces including the top ace in Europe, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski.

The 56th has an impressive record, with over 600 aircraft destroyed in aerial combat and another 300 or so destroyed on the ground with a loss of only 128 P-47s to all combat causes.

56fgwwii-emblem.jpg

Spoiler

1115533097.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

357th fighter group. because of Bud Anderson and Chuck Yaeger. they are both still alive at 97 years of age. and still friends.

I have just finished the book To fly and Fight, amazing life story.

Edited by Higaluto
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357th

 

18.5 jets shot down.

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12 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Any particular reason for the 27th FBG?

They were one out of only three USAAF units operating the A-36 and put up a serious fight in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. That's not to disregard the equally eventful and interesting histories of 86th and 311th FBG.

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I'm not familiar enough with allied squadrons to have certain favourites - but since the discussion seems to be open to Luftwaffe units as well:

Hard choice - many interesting Jagdflieger units:

JG 52 - produced many Experten including the most successfull at all

JG 3 - Operating in many diffrent environments (BoB, Barbvarosse, MTO, Stalingrad, Defence of the Reich) and proofed quite successfull in all of them

JG 26 and JG 2 for holding the West alone for a long time

JG 27 for being very successfull in Africa against overwhelming odds

JV 44 for sheer glory. A Jet unit created from some of the finest fighter pilots Germany had. Strategically nonesense (that experience could have been more usefull to train and lead the cannon fodder that manned the German fighters in those days - but at that time it propably didn't matter anymore anyways) but a very impressive unit nonetheless...

 

On the other hand I always felt a strong affection for any serviceman of any branch and any nation, who without any glory or other reward served his country in the hour of need and did his duty no matter what the odds. In that fighter units with a similar understanding of duty like the tuskegee air men, who thought protecting the bombers more important then gaining airial victory, also have my admiration.

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I agree that at that late stage it didnt matter what Germany did with the experten.  So probably best to have them use the best planes since they wasted the chance to have them training pilots when it may have made some difference (just prolonging the war some. Thats all) IMO

16 hours ago, Hucky said:

in the West is it the JG26 and in the East each Schlachtgeschwader :biggrin:

I dont understand?

JG26s 'title name' was Schlageter who IIRC was some German Rhinelander executed by the French for sedition or somesuch in the early 20s

?

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12 hours ago, =27=Davesteu said:

They were one out of only three USAAF units operating the A-36 and put up a serious fight in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. That's not to disregard the equally eventful and interesting histories of 86th and 311th FBG.

 

On a somewhat related note: I just had an epiphany (yeah, I'm into big words):

The Mustang was in line-service in Europe a full year before the P-47.

Granted, it was the Allison powered variant, flying with the RAF, but still. The A-36 is a very interesting airplane - I generally think the Allison-powered Mustangs don't get enough love.

They were great for "leaning into France" and could take on german fighters below 15000ft without fear.


 

Quote

 

JG26s 'title name' was Schlageter who IIRC was some German Rhinelander executed by the French for sedition or somesuch in the early 20s

?

 

 

Leo Schlageter was a right-wing militant who was ideolized by german nationalists.

 

"Schlachtgeschwader" (figuratively "Battle Wing") is a term for a fighter-bomber/ attack aircraft Geschwader (Wing).

A Geschwader is similar to the american Wing (as in "Fighter Wing"), which is seldomly used in WW2 literature. Most books refer to a certain Fighter Group and don't tell the story of the Fighter Wing, which consists of several Fighter Groups.

 

Note: Fighter Group is structurally (and numerically) similar to a german "Gruppe" (or "Jagdgruppe"*). In the USAAF, Fighter Groups acted a litle more on their own than comparative german "Gruppen", even though a "Gruppe" could also be transferred (e.g. during Reichsverteidigung, to some godforsaken place in the east or to the MTO) and was the smallest self-sufficient unit in the Luftwaffe organizational/ logistical structure.

 

___

* "Gruppen" are indicated by roman numerals, "Staffeln" (squadrons) by arabic numerals, e.g.:

III./JG 27 is the 3rd Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 27, while 9./JG 27 is the 9th Staffel (squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 27, which (together with 7./JG 27 and 8./JG 27 form III./JG 27) is part of the former. There is no clustderduck among some squadron being exchanged with another Fighter Group and hence breaking up the neat sequance of Squadron numbers, as you'd find with many Squadrons assigned to an american Fighter Group. The latter has a better historical traceability - german Staffeln were also transferred and built a nucleus for a completely new Gruppe sometimes, but they'd change their names accordingly.

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16 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

On a somewhat related note: I just had an epiphany (yeah, I'm into big words):

The Mustang was in line-service in Europe a full year before the P-47.

Granted, it was the Allison powered variant, flying with the RAF, but still. The A-36 is a very interesting airplane - I generally think the Allison-powered Mustangs don't get enough love.

They were great for "leaning into France" and could take on german fighters below 15000ft without fear.


 

 

Leo Schlageter was a right-wing militant who was ideolized by german nationalists.

 

"Schlachtgeschwader" (figuratively "Battle Wing") is a term for a fighter-bomber/ attack aircraft Geschwader (Wing).

A Geschwader is similar to the american Wing (as in "Fighter Wing"), which is seldomly used in WW2 literature. Most books refer to a certain Fighter Group and don't tell the story of the Fighter Wing, which consists of several Fighter Groups.

 

Note: Fighter Group is structurally (and numerically) similar to a german "Gruppe" (or "Jagdgruppe"*). In the USAAF, Fighter Groups acted a litle more on their own than comparative german "Gruppen", even though a "Gruppe" could also be transferred (e.g. during Reichsverteidigung, to some godforsaken place in the east or to the MTO) and was the smallest self-sufficient unit in the Luftwaffe organizational/ logistical structure.

 

___

* "Gruppen" are indicated by roman numerals, "Staffeln" (squadrons) by arabic numerals, e.g.:

III./JG 27 is the 3rd Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 27, while 9./JG 27 is the 9th Staffel (squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 27, which (together with 7./JG 27 and 8./JG 27 form III./JG 27) is part of the former. There is no clustderduck among some squadron being exchanged with another Fighter Group and hence breaking up the neat sequance of Squadron numbers, as you'd find with many Squadrons assigned to an american Fighter Group. The latter has a better historical traceability - german Staffeln were also transferred and built a nucleus for a completely new Gruppe sometimes, but they'd change their names accordingly.

Thank you

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On 4/20/2019 at 3:09 PM, Bremspropeller said:

 

On a somewhat related note: I just had an epiphany (yeah, I'm into big words):

The Mustang was in line-service in Europe a full year before the P-47.

Granted, it was the Allison powered variant, flying with the RAF, but still. The A-36 is a very interesting airplane - I generally think the Allison-powered Mustangs don't get enough love.

They were great for "leaning into France" and could take on german fighters below 15000ft without fear.

 

 

tom4.jpg

 

Photo I shot a few years ago...

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Quote

"Gruppen" are indicated by roman numerals, "Staffeln" (squadrons) by arabic numerals, e.g.:

III./JG 27 is the 3rd Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 27, while 9./JG 27 is the 9th Staffel (squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 27, which (together with 7./JG 27 and 8./JG 27 form III./JG 27) is part of the former. There is no clustderduck among some squadron being exchanged with another Fighter Group and hence breaking up the neat sequance of Squadron numbers, as you'd find with many Squadrons assigned to an american Fighter Group. The latter has a better historical traceability - german Staffeln were also transferred and built a nucleus for a completely new Gruppe sometimes, but they'd change their names accordingly.

Im not clear what you're saying here. Are you implying it was common for a squadron from a group to fly regularly as a detached unit with different group? I think I've only read about it a couple of times. Notably when the first shuttle bombing missions were flown to Russia. One squadron from the 352nd fighter group was assigned to fly with the 4thFG as an extra squadron. Later in the war towards the latter part of 1944, most fighter groups of the 8thAF could put up a double sized group of 72 aircraft,  on a regular basis. Sometimes going out  together or flown as separate mission forces. 

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you meant, but I think most ETO groups were pretty much dedicated units that didn't or wouldn't allow themselves to be sectioned off into smaller parts and sent elsewhere. 

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