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Bloody Skies U.S. Eighth Air Force Battle Damage in World by Nicholas A. Veronico

By Nicholas A. Veronico

A visible heritage of the U.S. 8th Air strength in global battle II

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United States. Air Force. Air Force, 8th. 2. World War, 1939–1945—Aerial operations, American. 3. World War, 1939–1945—Campaigns—Western Front—Pictorial works. I. Title. 54’4973—dc23 2014032643 In memory of 2nd Lt. Robert L. S. Eighth Air Force. CONTENTS Preface Introduction: Evolving Tactics to Protect the Bombers CHAPTER 1 1942 and 1943: Taking the Fight to the Enemy CHAPTER 2 1944: Attacking Strategic Targets CHAPTER 3 1945: Total Air Superiority CHAPTER 4 A Personal Note: Lieutenant Woolfolk and B-17G Decatur Deb APPENDIX I First Air Division (Units, Stations, Fuselage, and Tail Codes) APPENDIX II Second Air Division (Units, Stations, Fuselage, and Tail Codes) APPENDIX III Third Air Division (Units, Stations, Fuselage, and Tail Codes) APPENDIX IV Special Units (Units, Stations, Fuselage, and Tail Codes) APPENDIX V Army Air Force Statistics APPENDIX VI Eighth Air Force Medal of Honor Recipients Bibliography and Suggested Reading Acknowledgments PREFACE The air war in the skies over Europe during World War II was extremely complex and costly, and the Germans proved to be a formidable enemy.

Yelle evaded capture. USAAF First Lt. H. E. Miller, standing inside the tail, was flying behind B-17F 41-24610 during the May 1, 1943, attack on the shipyards and submarine pens at Saint-Nazaire, France, when an Fw 190 nearly blew off the aircraft’s tail. After the fighters had gone away, Miller remarked that the hole was so large he could walk through it. After 1st Lt. Donald E. Stockton limped 41-24610 home to the 303rd Bomb Group’s field at Molesworth, Miller demonstrated that he could actually walk through the hole.

Salvatore J. Cavallaro, left waist gunner Staff Sgt. Robert L. Allman, and ball turret gunner Staff Sgt. James C. Arthur. Copilot Degtive was not on the Nov. 5, 1943, flight, as he was replaced by Maj. William L. Chamberlain. USAAF Ford Willow Run–built B-24H 42-7713 The Merry Max was assigned to the 715th Bomb Squadron, 448th Bomb Group, but never flew a combat mission. Second Lt. William F. Ferguson landed short at East Wretham Airfield en route to the modification center at Watton on November 26.

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