August 6, 1944

Day by day events of the 352nd Fighter Group.

August 6, 1944

Postby Todzilla » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:46 pm

On August 5, 1944 George Preddy scored another single, and on August 6 he was scheduled to lead the entire group on an escort mission. The mission was scrubbed due to forecast bad weather, and -- with a free day ahead -- a big party was inevitable. Shortly after midnight, the mission was on again. At briefing, the group commander judged that Preddy was not in shape to lead, but Meyer assured him that George would be ready by takeoff time.

A few hours later, from an altitude of 30,000 feet, Preddy spotted more than 30 Bf-109s coming in on the third box of B-17s. He led his flight into the midst of the Bf-109s, shooting down three in rapid succession. At that point, four other P-51s joined the fight. Preddy shot down two more Bf-109s, then followed the formation down to 5,000 feet, where he found himself alone with the enemy. One of them broke to the left, followed by Preddy in his "Cripes A' Mighty." After a hot duel, George shot down his sixth of the day. On landing, a slightly green Preddy vowed never again to fly with a hangover. He commented, "I just kept shooting, and they just kept falling." That mission earned him the Distinguished Service Cross and an unsought leave in the States.

Story by Joe Noah. Further information here:

http://www.aviation-history.com/airmen/preddy.htm
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