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4th Fighter Group Gallery 4th Fighter Group 339th Fighter Group Gallery 339th Fighter Group 357th Fighter Group Gallery 357th Fighter Group Scouting Force Scouting Force
20th Fighter Group Gallery 20th Fighter Group 352nd Fighter Group Gallery 352nd Fighter Group 359th Fighter Group Gallery 359th Fighter Group 5th Emer Rescue Sqd 5th Emer Rescue Sqd
55th Fighter Group Gallery 55th Fighter Group 353rd Fighter Group Gallery 353rd Fighter Group 361st Fighter Group Gallery 361st Fighter Group 7th Photo Recon Group 7th Photo Recon Group
56th Fighter Group Gallery 56th Fighter Group 355th Fighter Group Gallery 355th Fighter Group 364th Fighter Group Gallery 364th Fighter Group 495th Fighter Group Gallery 495th FTG
78th Fighter Group Gallery 78th Fighter Group 356th Fighter Group Gallery 356th Fighter Group 479th Fighter Group Gallery 479th Fighter Group 496th Fighter Group Gallery 496th FTG
 
 
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General Doolittle liked the idea and, based on availability of the only aircraft capable of making it all the way to the targets with the bombers, the mighty P-51 Mustang, authorized Budd Peaslee to test the idea. In June 1944, supported by the 355th Fighter Group, the Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX) was formed at Steeple Morden, England. Budd arrived with 8 volunteer bomber pilots who had completed their combat tours. The 355th furnished 12 aircraft, Crew Chiefs and Assistants, quarters and all logistical support needed by the Scouts. The 355th also furnished 8 fighter pilots to fly wing on the bomber-lads. The idea was for the bomber pilots, who knew the bomber problems, to lead all aspects of the mission other than combat. When enemy fighters were encountered, the fighter pilot slipped into the lead. Eventually the bomber pilots became pretty good fighter pilots themselves. On 16 July 1944, the SFX flew its first mission and continued on to prove the Scouting Force concept with the 35th and final successful mission completed on 12 September 1944.

 

 

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