23rd Fighter Group: Chennaults Sharks by Carl Molesworth

World War Ii

By Carl Molesworth

Staffed with green USAAF pilots and led via a handful of professional veterans of the yankee Volunteer team (AVG), the twenty third FG was once shaped within the box at Kunming, in China, on July four, 1942 and flew wrestle missions that very same day. The teams 3 squadrons - the 74th, seventy fifth and 76th Fighter Squadrons - have been at the beginning built with war-weary P-40s passed down from the AVG. those have been supplemented by way of the hooked up 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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Formosa " • Swataw. "@Canton @Tanchuk·.. ' # ••:@LiuChow • '. r·· :@Kweilin -. 1, •• # @Suichwan '. ' . •• Ling-Ling ~ _, • • Kunming 11II . . - Hengyang~: .... ~.. • Hanchow. ,@Wuchang : Paliuchi '. - [email protected] . @ 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.

If rhe phoros showed sufFicienr enemy aircrafr on Shinchiku ro wan'anr an arrack, rhe mission would go rhe very nexr day - even ifir was Thanksgiving Day. The cameras in rhe F-5 were quickly unloaded afrer ir landed ar Suichuan, and rhe film was processed rhere. The phorographs revealed Japanese aircrafr by rhe dozens parked on rhe big airfield. In facr Hill recalled rhe counr of 100 bombers and I 12 fighrers parked all over rhe place. The mission was on. Ar Kweilin, eighr P-51 A pilors from rhe 76rh FS were alerred immediarely for a 1400 hI'S flighr ro Suichuan.

Nanning ... Wenchow. Foochow. @Kanchow . •• Changchow. Arnoy. Formosa " • Swataw. "@Canton @Tanchuk·.. ' # ••:@LiuChow • '. r·· :@Kweilin -. 1, •• # @Suichwan '. ' . •• Ling-Ling ~ _, • • Kunming 11II . . - Hengyang~: .... ~.. • Hanchow. ,@Wuchang : Paliuchi '. - [email protected] . @ 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.

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