By Carl Molesworth
Staffed with green USAAF pilots and led through a handful of pro veterans of the yankee Volunteer workforce (AVG), the twenty third FG used to be shaped within the box at Kunming, in China, on July four, 1942 and flew wrestle missions that very same day. The group's 3 squadrons - the 74th, seventy fifth and 76th Fighter Squadrons - have been first and foremost outfitted with war-weary P-40s passed down from the AVG. those have been supplemented through the hooked up sixteenth FS, flying new P-40Es, and all squadrons decorated the noses in their airplanes with fearsome and iconic sharksmouth designs.The twenty third FG fought a guerrilla battle opposed to the japanese, progressively relocating pilots and airplane from one distant air base to a different to maintain the enemy off stability. simply because China may possibly in basic terms be provided by means of air from India, there have been consistent shortages of plane, gasoline and ammunition with which to contend. The twenty third FG met those demanding situations head-on and through the top of the warfare its pilots had compiled a rating of 594 aerial victories and approximately four hundred flooring kills. one of the forty seven aces who flew within the twenty third have been colourful characters akin to David L 'Tex' Hill, Robert L 'Bob' Scott and Clinton D 'Casey'. The human expense used to be excessive, notwithstanding - 126 pilots misplaced their lives in China whereas serving within the twenty third.
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Extra resources for 23rd Fighter Group: Chennault's Sharks (Aviation Elite Units)
The P-40s were in acrion again rhar afrernoon, knocking down four 'Oscars' over Tien Ho airfield ar Canron while esconing B-25s. Anorher Japanese arrack on Hengyang rhe nexr day nerred five more vicrories for rhe P-40s of rhe 76rh FS againsr one loss. Col Bruce Holloway scored his I Irh and 12rh kills on rhese rwo missions, and his 13rh, andlasr, vicrory came on 24 Augusr during an escorr mission. As he recorded in his diary, Holloway passed up rhe chance ro become rhe all-rime rop-scoring American P-40 ace rhar day; 'We came in wirh rhe B-25s and arracked rhe airfield ar Wuchang.
Whar rhey encounrered was a flghrer sweep by 20 Kj-44s flying ar 30,000 Fe or higher - well above rhe combar ceiling of rhe P-40s. The Warhawk pilors had no choice bur ro wair for rhe 'Tojos' ro iniriare barrie on rheir own renTIs. This rhey did by diving down on srraggling P-40s, raking a shor ar rhem, and rhen zooming back up our of range - precisely rhe racries preached by Chennaulr ro his P-40 pilors. Two Curriss flghrers and rheir pilors were losr, bur Capr Arr Cruikshank of rhe 74rh was able ro claim rwo 'Tojos' desrroyed.
Chungking. Enshlli » "- l aPeiping ••• SOUTH \ Hanoi CHINA Liuchaw Peninsula French Indo-China SEA Hainan MAP From its air bases in China, the USAAF's Fourteenth Air Force could strike targets in the Japanese-held areas of Hankow, Canton/Hong Kong, French Indochina and Burma, as well as harassing Japanese shipping lanes in the South China Sea 64 More action Followed on 25 July, when 15 Japanese fighters attempted ro catch a flight oFB-25s landing at HengyangaFter their bombing mission ro Hankow.