Newsletter Issue: Winter - Spring '05
little history... Submitted by Ken Winders
Extract from the Philadelphia, PA Evening Bulletin, written by Morley Cassidy
(War Correspondent). Retyped from
what appears to be an original carbon copy of the report.
airfield in Germany, April 5th 1945, 6 Philadelphia area fliers, cooperating
with tanks in the present drive for the Ruhr, share the credit today for
probably the greatest single bag of German planes destroyed by any one group
in this War.
group the 373rd Fighter Bomber Group of he IX Air Force is officially credited
with destroying or damaging 223 German aircraft in 5 days.
And 3 of that Group have just scored something new by driving 125
Germans into the path of an armored column and forcing their surrender.
US Air base in Reich:
Operating from the first American air base on German soil, the Group
caught a sizable hunk of the Luftwaffe flatfooted while paving the way for the
9th Army's advance.
fun began when a squadron of 12 was returning from an armed reconnaissance
mission in the Hamm-Paderborn area. Something
in the looks of a beautiful field near Gutteralch caught the eye of Capt. Tom.
DeGraffenried, Memphis, Tenn. When he peeled off for a closer look, he found
15 Messerschmidt 262 jet planes concealed on the field.
He and 2nd Lt. Fred H. King, Nashville, Tenn, the only fliers in the
Squadron with any ammunition left, strafed the line and destroyed 2 of the planes.
next morning the whole group concentrated on a close study of the green fields
in the area and found ripe pickings. That
day they hit 5 fields and knocked out 115 planes.
In the next 3 days they got 104 more planes for a total of 223.
There bag included everything from JU 88s to ME 109s and many of the
newest type jet planes. During
these 5 days of hammering, the Luftwaffe never got off the ground to challenge
"The only way we can figure it", says Colonel Downing, slim 25 year
old Operations Officer of the Group, "is that the planes probably had just
been ferried from the Russian front to meet the American drive and have not
yet been supplied with gasoline. That
made it lovely".
of the Duck Hunt:
of the 5 day duck hunt was Lt. Edwards. In the first strike of Gutteralch, he
destroyed 3 JU 88s with bombs. He
then made 12 staffing passes and damaged
9 ME 109s. He previously
was credited with 2 planes in air combat and 2 ME 400s on the ground.
an armored column was hitting dug in German infantry, the tanks called for
Squadron led by 1st Lt. Noyes, (Glen) of Hermosa, Calif, spotted the Germans
in a woods. The squadron let fly
the 500 pound bombs and following up with 3 strafing attacks.
are interesting toys but of no military value"
- Marshall Ferdinand Foch