68 years ago: the 362nd FG wreaks mayhem around Mulhausen

Eleven missions were flown by the 362nd Fighter Group in support of XX Corps on April 7, 1945. The controller, “Abtide,” had plenty of targets, mostly tanks in the area north and northeast of Mulhausen; the tally was 20 destroyed and 38 damaged. The 378th Fighter Squadron flew four missions, destroying five tanks.  Lt. George Robinson was the fourth man in Blue Flight; he was pulling off the flight’s first strafing pass of the day when he was hit by flak and started for the town of Dinglestadt, which he knew to be held by U.S. forces. He made an attempt to belly in P-47D-30 44-3630, but he had too much speed, so he tried to go around, but a fire broke out in the rear fuselage of his P-47 and when he made a second attempt to land the plane burst into a ball of flame and disintegrated, killing Robinson.

Later in the day, the 378th was vectored toward 20 Bf 109s that were strafing U.S. troops near Mulhausen. “We were strafing motor transport at the time he called, so we pulled up and, as we approached his area, we sighted aircraft at three o’clock to us flying our altitude at 3000 feet,” Maj. Richard Cline reported. “We closed to about 500 yards before they saw us. The three 109s that my flight was chasing started a slow climbing turn to the right as I drew up to within 75 yards of the number three man. I fired a short burst and observed pieces come off and the enemy aircraft began smoking badly. He nosed down and went into the clouds and I split-S’ed and caught him coming out beneath. I shot another burst at 40 yards and immediately the pilot bailed out. The other two 109s dove into the cloud and were not seen again.” The 379th encountered fighters as well, and Lt. Gene Martin again shot up a Bf 109, although again it went unconfirmed.

Gene Martin with his P-47 "Bonnie Lynn"

Gene Martin with his P-47 “Bonnie Lynn”

 

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2 Comments

  1. I would like to say thank you for keeping this history alive. My great uncle was George Robinson and I enjoy reading about his time in the military.


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