By Carl Molesworth
Staffed with green USAAF pilots and led via a handful of pro veterans of the yankee Volunteer staff (AVG), the twenty third FG was once shaped within the box at Kunming, in China, on July four, 1942 and flew strive against missions that very same day. The teams 3 squadrons - the 74th, seventy fifth and 76th Fighter Squadrons - have been in the beginning outfitted with war-weary P-40s passed down from the AVG. those have been supplemented by way of the connected sixteenth FS, flying new P-40Es, and all squadrons decorated the noses in their airplanes with fearsome and iconic sharksmouth designs.
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Additional resources for 23rd Fighter Group: Chennaults Sharks
The 118th TR wa a pre-war ational Guard unit from Connecticut with highly trained pilots and an aggressive commander. It wasted no time in making their presence felt, flying 64 sorties by the end of June, and by October the unit would boast of its first ace, apt Oran S Watts. The 118th TRS joined the 23rd FG in June 1944 at Kweilin. It initially flew P-40Ns equipped with aerial cameras as well as guns, and Lt Henry F Davis Jr was one of its most successful pilots, scoring three confirmed victories by October 1944 (Henry Davis) 91 UJ > ...
0 harm was done, excepr perhaps ro his nerves, and Hill led rhe formarion back ro Suichuan wirhout furrher exciremenr. 'It was a risky operarion', 'Tex' Hill rold rhe aurhor many years later. 'We could have easily losr everybody. Insread, we pulled off a perfect miSSIOn'. A phoro-reconnaissance Lighrning arrived over Shinchiku ar high alrirude abour 15 minures afrer rhe arrackers had deparred and rook picrures of rhe carnage below. Those images, in addition ro some raken from the B-25s during rhe artack, helped ro confirm the following claims by the P-51 pilors - Hill, one confirmed in the air plus one confirmed and one probable on rhe ground; Williams, one confirmed and one damaged on the ground; Srewarr, one confirmed on rhe ground; Colberr, one confirmed on rhe ground; and Hedrick, one probable and one damaged on the ground.
Seven damaged claims also were filed. The only P-40 to suffer any damage was Maj Loofbourrow's, which was hit in the left: stabiliser and Fuselage. The major suffered superficial flesh wounds on an arm and leg but returned saFely to Hengyang with the rest of the 'Sharks'. 75th FS flight surgeon Maj Laughlin soon had Loofbourrow patched up, and the major led another mission that aFternoon. The 75th FS had another scrap three days later, scoring one vicrory, Four probables and seven damaged, while having two P-40s badly shot up.