"Y" Fields "Y" ALGs (Advanced Landing Grounds ) were initially located in Southeastern France, built by Twelfth Air Force engineers as part of Operation Dragoon , the invasion of Southern France. Initially un-coded, they were given "Y" designations when they came under IX Engineering Command control in late 1944. - ALGs were also coded "Y" in Northeastern France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Occupied Germany, after "A" coding reached 99 in November 1944. A-20 Havoc / Boston
507th squadron P47s taxiing and having their guns loaded. The practice of the mechanics riding on the wings was introduced after one plane's propeller chewed up the tail of the plane ahead while lining up for takeoff. These photographs were taken at St Trond in Belgium . - "Hawkeye Gal" was Donald Dove's aircraft, whilst Y8*M was usually flown by Robert Reiff . St Trond in Belgium – Dec.1944
Left : Major General Hoyt S Vandenberg , US Ninth Air Force commander, centre : 2d Lt. John W. Wainwright, right : Colonel Carroll "Red" McColpin, 404th Fighter Group commander, a former RAF Eagle squadron commander and a fighter ace with eight confirmed victories. Colonel Carroll W McColpin was the base commander at Winkton, England in 1944. Wainwright was presented with the Air Medal. General Vandenberg had recommended him for the Distinguished Service Cross for his six victories on September 28, 1944 but the DSC was not awarded until January 8, 1945. - Sadly Wainwright was killed in an aircraft accident in Germany on July 7, 1945. The four pilots in a line are 1st Lt Crocker, 2nd Lt Fisher, 1st Lt Int-Hout, Capt.Simpson.
P47s of the 506th Squadron, 404th FG return to Winkton after a mission, May or early June 1944 Unlike Eighth Air Force, whose units stayed in the United Kingdom, Ninth Air Force units were very mobile, first deploying to France on 16 June 1944, ten days after the Normandy invasion by moving P-47 Thunderbolts to a beach-head landing strip. Because of their short range, operational combat units would have to move to quickly-prepared bases close to the front as soon as the Allied ground forces advanced. The bases were called "Advanced Landing Grounds" or "ALGs". On the continent, many ALGs were built either from scratch or from captured enemy airfields throughout France, the Low Countries and Germany. Ninth Air Force units moved frequently from one ALG to another.
Leo Moon was the commander of the 508th squadron of the 404th Fighter Group throughout the time the squadron was a Winkton, England. In November 1944 he succeeded Colonel McColpin as Group Commander at Brustem, a post he occupied until two weeks before the end of the war in Europe.
Bombardment of Hasselt by A-26 Marauders on 11 May,1944
Bombardment of Hasselt by A-26 Marauders on 11 May,1944
Lockheed P-38 fighter-bombers, taxiing out for take-off on a dive-bombing mission. This specific mission was an armed reconnaissance on tank and motor transport of the Von Runstedt’s offensive, which at this time was within only 15 miles from this airfield. (Florennes-Air Base)
This is Lt. Ralph Sallee’s P-47D, of the 379th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group . Lt. Sallee shot down 2 FW-190 over Bastogne on December 26 th ,1944 – Three pilots in his flight were lost. Lt. Gene Martin , a pilot with the 379th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group during the last phases of World War II. - Gene served from the very end of the Battle of the Bulge “ Pilot Capt. Wilton Crutchfield’s “Kentucky Colonel” also went through an evolution of markings, acquiring a cartoon hillbilly character on the cowling sometime in early 1945. Headcorn Airfield, England On July 9, 1944, the 362nd Fighter group continued its rampage over central France while still flying from Headcorn field, England. The group would move across the Channel soon, but until then they had to fly across the channel, over the invasion beaches and attack its targets before returning the same way. Prior to D-Day the 362nd's losses were a modest nine aircraft missing in action. but, in the weeks following, the attrition rate soared. In June alone, 24 P-47s failed to return. including four on the 14th and five on the 18th, highlighting the dangers of operations at low level. Between Dec. 23,1944 and January 23,1945, the group would lose 17 Thunderbolts and 13 pilots killed or captured. The 362nd Fighter Group began its move to Normandy on July 2, relocating to Lignerolles, France (ALG A-12) with Headcorn continuing to be used for operations until the 7th. of July. Two days later the last of the group's personnel had departed.
48th Bombardment Group (Light) P-47 Thunderbolt
Operations . The 48th Bombardment Group (Light) served as a replacement training unit from Jan 1941 through early 1944. It moved to England to serve with Ninth Air Force in Mar 1944. Employing P-47 aircraft, the group began fighter sweeps over the French Coast in Apr 1944. – Moved to St.Truiden Air Base on Sep.15th, 1944 .
It escorted bombers and conducted dive-bombing missions in northern France in preparation for the allied invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944. On D-Day (6 Jun), it bombed bridges and enemy artillery positions. During the remainder of the Normandy campaign, it attacked railroads, motor transports, bridges, and fuel dumps.
Moving to new bases in France, the group supported Allied ground forces as they broke through German lines at St Lo and drove across Northern France toward the Rhine River during the summer of 1944.
It assisted the Allied airborne attack in the Netherlands in September 1944, and operated from St.Truiden Belgium in the fall and winter of 1944.
The 48th earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for close air support of Allied ground forces advancing against an enemy stronghold north of Julich, Germany on 6 Dec 1944. During the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944 - Jan 1945) it supported American counterattacks and from Jan-May 1944, provided close air support of advancing ground forces in northwestern Europe.
Bassingbourn, England , “Memphis Belle” after her 25th operational missions in the ETO .