69 years ago: the 362 FG’s escort can’t protect against flak

On May 22, 1944, the 362nd Fighter Group carried out an escort of B-26s and A-20s to the airfield at Cormeilles-en-Vexin. 32 P-47s from the 377th and 378th Fighter Squadrons escorted the 36 Marauders to the target; 20 minutes later, 16 more P-47s from the 379th shepherded 24 A-20s through the same target. Flak was ferocious, downing three B-26s and one A-20 in the target area, and the P-47s escorted another straggling A-20 over the channel as far as 20 miles from Beachy Head before it exploded. Lt. Donald W. Dickson of the 377th suffered engine trouble and went down in the channel himself, but was rescued by an Air Sea Rescue Service OA-10 Catalina.

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