P-47 in combat

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The hunting group 1/5 "Champagne" in the countryside of Alsace and Germany 1944-1945.

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Author Olivier Lapray
ISBN 978-2-9558385-6-3
Date of publication October 2021
Format 215 x 305 mm
Pagination 200 pages
Shaping Hardcover, cardboard cover
Weight 1.2 kg
Tongue French
Diverse 300 photos, most of them unpublished – 18 profiles and color plans
Editor Arès - Toul

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"For fighter-bombers, as for all airmen in the world, in times of war, mission is at the center of everything. It is the center of all thoughts and activities, and it is very difficult to say where it begins and where it ends. Does it start when the pilot, when he wakes up, runs to the window to see if the weather is flyable? Or the moment when the duty officer receives in the middle of the night the take-off orders that he will broadcast to the pilot OPS? Or find it already on the way, a few hours earlier, in the middle of the night, when the mechanics, raised well before dawn, heat the engines while the gunsmiths ensure the loading of bombs and ammunition? or should it be considered as started when the night before the squadron commanders have written on the order board the number of the flight and the names of the pilots who will compose them. It doesn't matter, however, that we know where it begins and where it ends. On mission, the group is on mission 24 hours a day. The beginning is vaguely on the day of his engagement; the term on the day of the final victory" (Second Lieutenant Inguimberti).

Engaged since September 1943 in coastal surveillance missions, the fighter group 1/5 "Champagne" totaled more than 11,500 hours of flight when it abandoned, in October 1944, its Bell P-39 Airacobra for more powerful Republic P-47D Thunderbolt. From December 1944, within the new 3rd Fighter Wing, the group took an active part in the Alsace campaign and then in the missions on Germany. On the day of his parade on the Champs-Elysées, May 9, 1945, his record is eloquent with 2,300 fighter-bombing sorties, 1,100 tons of bombs dropped and hundreds of locomotives, wagons, trucks and other vehicles destroyed. In seven months of intense fighting, the fighter group 1/5 "Champagne" also deplores the loss of eight pilots including that of its leader, Commander Edmond Marin la Meslée, shot down by the Flak in Alsace, on February 4, 1945.