“Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Volume 3”,
covers the period from 1st April 1944 to 30th June 1944. During this crucial period the last of the Eighth AAF Groups arrived, the 479th FG’s P-38s flying their first mission on 26th May 1944, the 493rd BG, equipped with B-24s commencing operations on D-Day, 6th June. On reaching their planned strength the Eighth AF losses also increased, reaching a high on 29th April 1944, when 63 heavy bombers failed to return. On 23rd May, for the first time, over one thousand B-17s and B-24s were despatched with only three being listed MIA. Over the following weeks the frequency of missions and the number of aircraft despatched resulted in rising losses, both bombers and fighters.
The Ninth Air Force had also reached its planned complement of operational groups. This consisted of eleven BGs - eight medium, equipped with B-26s and three with A-20s, all based in Essex. By mid-April, the FGs based in Essex and Suffolk, had moved down to their new bases in southern England, ready to support the forthcoming invasion of continental Europe. Ninth Air Force fighters, P-38s, P-47s and P-51s, continued to provide escort for Eighth AF heavy bombers attacking targets in Germany. Ninth Troop Carrier Command had expanded to fourteen Groups equipped with C-47s and C-53s. These were spread over a wide area from Lincolnshire, in the north, to Devonshire in the west.
As in Volumes 1 and 2, Part 1 covers losses of the US 8th Air Force from the first recorded loss on 1st April 1944, to 30th June 1944. All known losses, both operational and non operational are listed in chronological order together with full details and fate of the crews. A few interesting incidents are also recorded where the aircraft involved was repaired. Aircraft being ferried to the ETO on both the North and South Atlantic Ferry Routes are also listed. Some a/c visiting the ETO from the MTO may be included, where appropriate. Similar details in Part 2 covers the Ninth AF and to complete US air operations in the ETO Part 3 covers United States Navy losses. Fortunately, they suffered no MIAs in this period.
Appendix 1 - Casualties, covers those personnel who were KIA, or became POWs and Evadees, where the aircraft returned to friendly territory and was not lost or salvaged. Also, those crew members lost flying with the RAF are also included in Appendix 1. Also listed in this section, are those personnel who died in accidents, such as road traffic accidents, natural causes etc. Congressional Medal of Honor winners are listed in Appendix 2.
Unit losses for the period 1st April 1944 - 30th June 1944 are listed in Appendix 3. Total losses for both Air Forces and USN, from arrival and or assignment to the ETO, are listed in Appendix 4. Due to the complexities of the Airborne Operations on 6th June 1944 and the following days, Appendix 5 lists those gliders lost over the month of June 1944. This is compiled from the Cumulative Loss Listing. To complete this Section, Appendix 6 lists the Bases from which operations were flown. Also included in this section are Additions & Corrections for Volumes 1 & 2, this also includes photographs arriving too late for inclusion at the time of original publication.