Up Market Garden MG Pathfinders One Stick Characters Redtails OSS and the Underground ClarkAir Female POW Flight Nurses Kamp Vught


The 99th Fighter Squadron, the famous “Redtails” of Tuskegee Airmen fame, was stationed in Ramitelli, Italy in 1944, and flew their famous mission protecting B-17s attacking the Daimler-Benz tank factory at Berlin on 24 March, 1945. The Redtails were credited with destroying three Me 262s of the Luftwaffe '​s all-jet Jagdgeschwader 7 in aerial combat that day, and lost several P-51 Mustangs to enemy fighters. This was the longest mission the Squadron was to fly during the war (round trip from  Ramitelli, Italy, over the Alps to Berlin and back).

Although German Me 163 Komet rocket-powered planes were involved in the attacks against the flight, no definitive reference can be found to substantiate Komet kills by the 99th, despite the literary liberty I used in the story.

However, on 2 November 1944 about 12 Me 163 rocket fighters of German Jagdgeschwader 400 fighter wing intercepted a group of US bombers escorted by P-51 fighters east of Leipzig, Germany. The Germans shot down two bombers, while the American P-51 fighters shot down four Me 163 rocket fighters; of the the four German pilots shot down, Bollenrath's fighter would be the final Me 163 downing by a P-51 fighter.

In the novel the timeline was stretched to allow a Berlin raid to occur, fictionally, in September 1944.

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