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8th Air Force Fighters in World War II "The Fight for the Sky" pt1-2 circa 1945 US Army Air Forces

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Published on May 23, 2012

more at http://scitech.quickfound.net/aviatio...

Narrated by Ronald Reagan. "Our fighter pilots versus the Luftwaffe in Western Europe, 1945. On the activities of the 8th Air Force Fighter Command in Europe. Shows a base near East Anglia, England. General Doolittle discusses a mission. Pilots are briefed for an escort mission over Germany. P-47's are relieved in flight by P-51's. German pilots rush to intercept U.S. planes. U.S. bombers and many German fighters are downed. Shows Gen. Kepner. Fighters destroy enemy planes, transportation and communication."

LONG VERSION: 40min, different narrarator:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIVqZ...

Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

Split with MKVmerge GUI (part of MKVToolNix), the same freeware (or Avidemux) can recombine the downloaded parts (in mp4 format): http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvt...

part 2: http://youtu.be/P8NesyulsLM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VIII_Fig...

The VIII Fighter Command was a United States Army Air Forces formation. Its last assignment was with the United States Air Forces in Europe, being stationed at RAF Honington, England. It was inactivated on 20 March 1946.

VIII Fighter Command was the fighter arm of Eighth Air Force in the World War II European Theater. Its primary mission was to escort the heavy bombers of VIII Bomber Command to their targets in Occupied Europe, providing protection against Luftwaffe interceptors.

It was formed at Selfridge Field, Michigan in February 1942. In May, the headquarters moved to England to conduct combat operations over Occupied Europe. After the end of the European War in May 1945, VIII Fighter Command took part in the occupation of Germany until May 1946 while simultaneously coordinating its own demobilization. It inactivated in March 1946 at RAF Honington, the last Royal Air Force station used by the USAAF to be returned to the British Ministry of Defence.,,

The first P-47C Thunderbolts arrived in England in late December 1942, and equipped the 4th Fighter Group which somewhat reluctantly traded in their Spitfires for the type. P-47Cs also reequipped the 82nd, 83rd, and 84th Squadrons of the 78th Fighter Group. P-47Cs were also supplied to the 56th Fighter Group which left their P-47Bs back home in the States when they transferred to England. Engine and radio problems caused some delays, but the first operational sorties began on March 10, 1943, and consisted of high-altitude escort duties and fighter sweeps. The first encounter with German fighters came on April 15 when the P-47Cs of the 335th Squadron shot down three German fighters for a loss of three of its own.

The high-altitude performance of the P-47C was far superior to anything the Luftwaffe could put up against it, but at low and medium altitudes the P-47C could not match the maneuverability and climb rates of its opponents. However, the P-47C could out-dive just about anything in the sky, and many a Thunderbolt saved itself from a sticky situation by using its superior diving performance to break off combat at will when it proved necessary to do so...

With arrival of the first P-51 groups, the strategic air war began shifting in the Allies' favor. The P-51 Mustang first entered squadron service in Europe with the British in early 1942. The Allison V-1710-engined P-51A (Mustang I) was successful in RAF service, although the British found the aircraft's performance inadequate at higher altitudes. Rolls-Royce engineers rapidly realized that by equipping the Mustang with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine with its two speed, two stage supercharger, performance would substantially improve. Also, by using a four-bladed propeller, rather than the three-bladed one used on the P-51A, the performance was again greatly improved. The XP-51B achieved a level speed of 441 mph at 29,800 feet, over 100 mph faster than the Allison-engined P-51A at the same altitude. At all altitudes, the rate of climb was approximately doubled...

During 1943, Nazi Germany produced 18,953 combat aircraft (Axis total 19,584) compared to 101,639 produced by the Allies. During 1944 the numbes were 33,804 vs 125,718. During 1945 the numerical difference was even greater, at 6,987 vs 60,494... By mid 1944, most of the Luftwaffe's most experienced fighter pilots in the west were killed...

At war's end the 8th's fighters had claimed 5,280 enemy aircraft shot down and 4,100 more claimed destroyed on the ground. Losses were 2,113 in total. Some 260 VIII FC pilots became aces, each with five or more aerial victories, though the command also recognized planes destroyed on the ground...

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