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No 126 Wing RCAF (Aviation Elite Units) by Donald Nijboer

By Donald Nijboer

The good fortune of No 126 Wing begun prior to the D-Day landings, yet its exceptional functionality after the Normandy invasion has no basic clarification. real, it profited from being in all of the correct areas in any respect the precise moments in the course of the battle - D-Day and the breakout, Falaise hole, Operation marketplace backyard, the iciness offensive within the Ardennes, and crossing the Rhine into Germany. yet different wings with 2d TAF participated within the comparable operations, with out attaining approximately a similar luck as No 126. As a self-contained unit, the 5 squadrons of Spitfires of No 126 Wing have been self-sufficient in every little thing they did. whilst the order got here to maneuver - males, gasoline, ammunition and every little thing very important for its operation picked up and drove to the subsequent farmer's box or compatible meadow. frequently touring at nighttime on bombed out roads, those flooring devices did an grand activity of not just discovering their new bases of operation, yet getting ready the sphere for the warring parties prepared for the subsequent day's flights. each touchdown strip used to be transitority and simply miles from the frontline. domestic was once a tent, a slit trench a spot of defense. Dysentery used to be a standard significant other, making a few pilots too susceptible to fly. usually they have been shelled via German artillery and mortars, and plenty of instances they discovered themselves in the back of enemy strains. this can be a really particular examine probably the most powerful air strength devices ever devised. earlier than D-Day 1944, a cellular fighter wing had by no means been attempted ahead of, yet after the Normandy landings the floor forces couldn't circulate with out their invaluable help. This booklet examines the wing's operations bankruptcy via bankruptcy as outlined via the foremost floor operations. It additionally highlights the effectiveness of the Spitfire within the fighter-bomber position, in addition to in its extra well-known air-superiority project - the Spitfire essentially ruled the skies over the advancing armies and proved itself once more to be the simplest fighter of global conflict 2. yet as profitable because the wing used to be, it used to be merely as powerful because the younger males who gave loads in their actual energy, intelligence and braveness to make it ensue. Squadron biographies, for this reason, also are incorporated, in addition to biographies of the pinnacle aces and an in depth exam of the day by day operations of a cellular fighter wing.

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Extra info for No 126 Wing RCAF (Aviation Elite Units)

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As a result No 126 Wing would record its highest tally of enemy aircraft shot down in a single day to date — the wing would also encounter Me 262s for the first time too. All four squadrons flew low patrols in the Nijmegen area, No 412 Sqn taking off first at 0728 hrs. Just northeast of Nijmegen they ran into 10+ Bf 109s and 12+ Fw 190s, and in the ensuing engagement Fit Lts Rod Smith (in MJ461) and Don Laubman (in MJ393) and Fig Off L F Berryman (in NH371) each claimed two Bf 109s destroyed apiece.

Fighters based in England would provide escort for the hundreds of transports and gliders, but no ground support for the paratroopers. Even before Market Garden had commenced on 17 September, there had been no battlefield preparation assigned to No 126 Wing. No bridges or road junctions were tasked for destruction. It is Sqn Ldr Hugh Trainor joined the RCAF in February 1940, and after the completion of his training he was retained as an instructor until October 1942. Posted to the UK, he joined No 402 Sqn in March 1943 and became a flight commander with No 411 Sqn two months later.

No 126 Wing came out on top with 13 victories for the day. No 411 Sqn's Fit Lt Hugh Trainor (in NH341) got his third kill in 48 hours on 29 June when he downed a Bf 109 five miles west of Caen for the wing's sole victory of the day. Trainor (again in NH341) claimed another Messerschmitt fighter destroyed the following day too when he was one of three No 126 Wing pilots to be credited with victories. The first kill came at 1440 hrs when No 401 Sqn intercepted 12 Fw 190s and Bf 109s north of Caen during an armed reconnaissance over the Argentan-Falaise area.

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