By Carl Molesworth
Staffed with green USAAF pilots and led by way of a handful of pro veterans of the yank 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 group's 3 squadrons - the 74th, seventy fifth and 76th Fighter Squadrons - have been before everything built 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, gradually relocating pilots and plane from one distant air base to a different to maintain the enemy off stability. simply because China might merely be provided by way of air from India, there have been consistent shortages of plane, gas and ammunition with which to contend. The twenty third FG met those demanding situations head-on and through the tip of the warfare its pilots had compiled a ranking of 594 aerial victories and approximately four hundred floor kills. one of the forty seven aces who flew within the twenty third have been colourful characters corresponding to David L 'Tex' Hill, Robert L 'Bob' Scott and Clinton D 'Casey'. The human expense used to be excessive, besides the fact that - 126 pilots misplaced their lives in China whereas serving within the twenty third.
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Extra info for 23rd Fighter Group: Chennault's Sharks (Aviation Elite Units)
Ar Kweilin, eighr P-51 A pilors from rhe 76rh FS were alerred immediarely for a 1400 hI'S flighr ro Suichuan. They did nor know where rhey would be going from uichuan, bur rhey knew somerhing big was up when rhey were issued 'Mae Wesr' life preservers - rhe firsr rhey had seen since arriving in China. Col Hill led rhe Musrangs off ar 1415 hrs, and rhey arrived ar Suichuan 90 minures larer. Thar same afrernoon, P-38s from Lingling and B-25s from Kweilin also flew ro Suichuan. The pilors wenr ro bed early because reveille was scheduled for 0400 hI'S on Thanksgiving Day.
The larrer pilor described his lasr vicrory, which occurred as he was arrem pring ro chase oFF an 'Oscar' rhar was arracki ng a barrie-damaged Warhawk; '[ [lIrned back, rolled over, and fired way ahead of rhe Zero. I knew [ was our of range bur hoped rhe Zero pilor would see my rracers. He did see rhem and pulled srraighr up. Climbing was rhe rhing For a Jap ro do, only rhis rime I had alrirude on him. When he gor ra rhe rap oFhis climb I was almosr in Formarion wirh him. 50-cals do rhe resr. ' The Forvlard Echelon conrinued ro pound enemy rargers in easr Chi na rhroughour mid-Seprember, irs P-40 pilors recording 16 vicrories up ro rhe 15rh of rhar mondl.
I kepr an eye on rhe silver job because I figured I would come back afrer I bombed and ger ir. When Igor down ro abour 2000 fr I saw anorher Jap ro my left. I dropped my bombs and wenr afrer him. He was rurning across my nose, so I rurned in behind him. I had builr up so much speed in my dive rhar 1 closed in a hurry_ 1srarred shooring wirh a 30-degree deRecrion and closed so fasr 1 had ro duck under ro keep from hirring rheJap. He was a "Tojo" wirh elliprical wings and a big radial engine. 1saw smoke rrail our his engine and rhen he fell off and hir rhe ground.
23rd Fighter Group: Chennault's Sharks (Aviation Elite Units) by Carl Molesworth