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Dottie Mae – Pilots

THE P-47

The operation career of ‘29150 began on the 16 December when Lt Tobin flew K4-S on her first combat mission. Interestingly, this was the day the German counter offensive in the Ardennes began, later to be known as the ‘Battle of the Bulge’.


Field Order JXX-7 Mission No1 Air Support. K4-S Lt Kuhl. Twelve P47’s found a convoy in Echternach area, which was well protected by flak. Two aircraft damaged, including K4-S. Landed safely back at Ophoven where damage was repaired.


Field Order W-51-5, Mission No 1 Armed Recce. K4-S Lt Kuhl. Sixteen P47’s vectored into the ‘Bulge’ M/T (motor transport) of all types. Light and heavy flak all around. Kuhl nearly hit the deck in K4-S. K4-P Lt Torbet had prop shot off and belly-landed. Listed MIA but returned later.

Around mid January, it is thought the Black/White D-Day stripes were painted out to the lower fuselage of ‘29150.


Field Order HEG-1. Armed Recce. K4-S Lt Boyer. Twelve P47’s found a large concentration of M/T, 5 miles West of Prum. 130 M/T, 8 flak guns, 4 tanks destroyed, 65 M/T’s damaged.


405FG left St Dizier where they had been happily based for nearly five months and had become quite settled. Their move was to Belgium, Site Y-32 Ophoven. It was located in a marshy area and all of the runways, taxiways and hard standings were constructed from pierced steel planking and an Aviation Engineer Unit had to remain to keep the airfield operation.


Field Order V-89-3. Armed Recce. K4-S Lt Kuhl. Twelve P47’s to rail cutting between Köln, west of Grevenbroch, track cut in eight places, Kuhl destroys a locomotive.


Field Order No V-89-2 Mission 4. K4-S Lt Kuhl. Twelve P47’s were on an Armed Recce to Köln-Düsseldorf area. In the region of Siegburg, East of the Rhine Lt Kuhl and Lt Spencer in K4-R destroyed a designated highway bridge.


Field Order No V-89-2. Area support. K4-S Lt Boyer. Eight P47’s were on an armed Recce when they met with some Me262’s for the first time. The whole mission was spent chasing and shooting at Me262’s with Lt Yothers in K4-D scoring hits on one but should have got two confirmed.


Field Order V-89-3. Armed Recce. K4-S Lt Kuhl. Twelve P47’s patrolled Rhine River North of Köln. Some heavy and light flak encountered by Sowalsky and Kuhl, but both managed to sink a couple of barges.


Field Order V-89-11. Armed Recce 2. K4-S Lt Torbet. Twelve P47’s headed to the Ruhr Area. bombed factory at Weitmar. Strafed 40 M/T with heavy flak. Eight P47’s received damage including K4-S. minor damage quickly repaired.


Field Order V-89-11. Armed Recce 3. K4-S Lt Mohr. (1st combat mission). Eleven P47’s. Attacked airfield at Dortmund, bombs dropped on edge of woods. Eight aircraft seen on airfield.


Field Order V-89-4. Armed Recce 2. K4-S Lt Mohr. Twelve P47’s. Attack Werf A/F. Dive bombed, results not known due to very good camouflage.


Field Order V-89-4. Armed Recce 4. K4-S Lt Kuhl. Twelve P47’s to woods NE of Düsseldorf to bomb some M/T. Later flew to Breckerfeld area and destroyed more M/T in woods.


Field Order V-89-4. Armed Recce 1. K4-S S Lt Swiggum. Twelve P47’s to Recce in Ruhr Valley. Marshalling yards. Five locomotives destroyed, nine damaged.


Field Order V-89-3 Armed Recce 1. K4-S Lt Cecil. Twelve P47’s flew to Gütersloh A/F attacked aircraft and M/T. Destroyed eight aircraft (six Ju88’s and two Bf109 as well as two of each damaged). 56 M/T destroyed. Four aircraft damaged by flak including K4-S.


405FG moved to Site R-6 at Kitzingen, Germany, a former Luftwaffe night fighter base and were not in combat again until finally settled in on the 29 April. At least they were back at a proper airfield with runways, hangers and buildings and had the best facilities they ever experienced.


Field Order J-29-2 Aerial Demonstrations. Twenty P47’s flew aerial demonstrations over the thousands of camp inmates at Ebensee Camp. Could not see camp, flew low over Ebensee town and out over Traunsee. K4-S hits water and becomes the last P47 combat mission loss in Europe.