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Thread: USMC Aviators with 256 Squadron, April 1943

  1. #1
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    Default USMC Aviators with 256 Squadron, April 1943

    In April 1943 the US Marine Corps sent some pilots and radar operators to England to improve their or rather learn night fighting skills.
    After initial training at Cranfield, two crews were posted with 256 Squadron at RAF Ford, flying Beaufighters.

    On a night patrol in late April/early May 1943 Capt. Homer G. Hutchinson and his RO Marine Sgt Pete Hales engaged a FW-190 over the English Channel. This made them the first Americans to enter into a night combat in a radar equipped aircraft.

    I wonder who can put a date of this encounter, perhaps give a more precise location and if the FW-190 was claimed to be damaged.

    Thanks for any info.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Hi Leendert,

    According to the ORB Major P.D. Lambrecht, Capt. H.G. Hutchinson, Sergeants Taber, E.J. Lloyd and N.J. Hales from USMC was posted to the Squadron, supernumerary, for flying duties on 5 May 1943.

    They returned to their Headquarters on 27 May. No contacts or claims were made by these Marines during this period. Only Capt. H.G. Hutchinson is mentioned during this period when he was “admitted to hospital suffering from measles.”

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Peter,

    Thanks for looking this up in the ORB. I could find the full names for all of them.
    It may be so that the encounter happened before the Marines joined 256 Squadron, but I'll see if the USMC History Division has any more details about this matter.

    Just for the record: the Marine officers mentioned must have had a good, although speedy training by the RAF, for Hutchinson and Lambrecht became COs of newly formed Marine Night Fighter squadrons in the Pacific in October 1943 and also saw action in Korea. Col Lambrecht went MIA at the Yalu River in 1952.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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