Sixty Years Ago Today: The Legend of Y-29

Stories and background on who and what made the 352nd Fighter Group, on the ground and in the air.

Sixty Years Ago Today: The Legend of Y-29

Postby Todzilla » Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:24 pm

On January 1, 1945, Colonel J.C. Meyer had finally received the reluctant permission to fly a combat patrol. Col. Meyer was one of the few that foresaw Operation Bodenplatte, the last-ditch effort of the Luftwaffe to overcome Allied air superiority. With engines on and waiting for clearance to roll, the Luftwaffe Gruppen I, II, and III of Jagdgeschwader 11 began hitting parked P-47's at the other end of the runway. That was all the permission Meyer needed and he immediately gave the command to roll. Before his wheels were up he pulled the trigger as a FW-190 crossed in front of him, sending the first casualty of Jagdgeschwader 11 into the ground. In the next 30 minutes, the 352nd's 487th Fighter Squadron shot down 24 German aircraft and lost none. For their actions, the 487th was the only fighter squadron to receive the Distinguished Unit Citation in the European Theater of Operations in WWII. White 1 - Lt. Colonel John C. Meyer (2)White 2 - Captain Alex F. Sears (1)White 3 - Captain Raymond H. Littge (2)White 4 - Lieutenant Alden P. Rigby (4)Yellow 1 - Lieutenant Colonel William T. Halton (1)Yellow 2 - Captain Henry M. Stewart (3)Yellow 3 - Captain Sanford Moats (4)Yellow 4 - Lieutenant Dean Huston (1)Red 1 - Captain William Whisner (4)Red 2 - Lieutenant Walter G. Diamond (1)Red 3 - Lieutenant Nelson R. Jesup (1)Red 4 - Lieutenant William C. MillerHappy New Year to the men of the 352nd, and Happy 60th Anniversary of the Legend of Y-29 for one of the most amazing aerial accomplishments of WWII!
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Postby Todzilla » Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:15 pm

Another interesting bit of information that I was unaware of: on Dec. 27th the 352nd engaged a large group of LW fighters over Bonn and shot down 22 losing again, none! On two missions over a period of six days, the 352nd shot down 46 German aircraft and lost NONE!
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Postby Todzilla » Sat Jan 01, 2005 4:51 pm

Also started a thread on AGW about this:http://agw.bombs-away.net/showthread.php?t=40509
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Postby Harleq » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:03 am

That is almost unbelievable - either brilliant training or brilliant luck - most likely both!! However, I've seen Juice knock down 46 in about the same time... ;)
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Postby Dduck » Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:18 am

Wow! That was news to me also! Thanks for listing the names of the flights involved. I never knew all of them. Do you have a list of the names involved from the Dec 27th battle?
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Postby Todzilla » Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:46 am

Sorry Don, I don't have that info. I'd like to di that up along with a list of the LW pilots involved.
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Postby Erich » Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:05 am

you guys might just want to check on the Hikoki air publications web-site and find the brilliant book by friend John Manhro and Ron Putz covering Bodenplatte. you'll find the disaster that JG 11 beheld with the 352nd fgE ~
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Postby Todzilla » Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:52 am

Hi Erich and welcome. Funny story about that book, Alden Rigby was in Seattle earlier this year and brought the book with him. I talked him out of it and had him sign it for me. I think I should have been in sales. :) I did purchase him another copy on Amazon though so it was there waiting when he returned home.As for the book, I posted a question to the author when Hikoki had their own forums up. Unfortunately the forums were taken down and I never heard back. I take you know the author and if so could you put me in touch with him? Or invite him over here?
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Postby Pyker » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:43 pm

Todzilla,

Just noticed this thread and that you never received a reply about contacting the authors. If you go to: http://www.airwar39-45.nl/bodenplatte.htm there are hyperlinks there for email to both authors.

Peter :wink:
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Postby Todzilla » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:17 pm

Thanks Peter. I thought I heard that one of them passed away. Do you know anything about that?
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Postby Pyker » Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:02 am

I seem to remember that it was Ron Putz but can't be certain. If so, then perhaps you had better just try and contact the other one and see what feedback you get. Either way, the website where the links are is the Dutch Air War Study Group so they will most likely be able to answer any of your questions.

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