NSG 9 badge

31st Fighter Group: 18 March 1944



09.05 hours

Near Aquino, 1/Lt. Laurin R. Hardage claimed an Fw 190 shot down and Lt. William J. Dillard an Fw 190 damaged (both claimants belonged to the 307th FS). First Lieutenant Richard F.Hurd of the 308th FS also claimed damage to a Fw 190. A Leutnant was reported missing from this operation. (His name was not picked up in the intercepted signal but it may have been Lt. Rudolf Krau who was injured that day in a flying accident)


Opponents: 3./JG 2 and 5./SG 4 made claims of Spitfires shot down in the same area at this time.

12.50 hours

Again from the 307th FS 1/Lt. John C. Gfeller claimed a Fw 190 shot down north west of Pontecorvo; Lt. Wilburn C. Dodd Jr. claimed damage to another at Aquino airfield and Lt. James Rostron claimed a Bf 109 probably destroyed north of Aquino.

Early evening

Pilots of the 308th FS shared in the Group's success: 1/Lt. Hurd claimed a Fw 190 shot down in the area of Cassino; 2/Lt. Youngblood N.H. Ricks a Focke-Wulf near Rocasecca; and 1/Lt. Floyd J. Rodmyre an Fw 190 south west of Frosinone.


The 307th FS was in action for a third time: 1/Lt. Kenneth G. Haydis claimed an Fw 190 destroyed in the Cassino area; 1/Lt. Carroll A. Prybylo claimed another shot down near Frosinone and Maj. Alvan C. Gillam damaged a Focke-Wulf in the same area. During this operation, one Spitfire IX was lost.


Opponents: between 17.34 and 17.36 hours, 1./JG 2 and II./SG 4 claimed to have shot down Spitfires near Frosinone and Roccasecca. The 8. and 9./JG 53 also formed part of the fighter bombers' escort force, as did elements of II./JG 77.


Information kindly supplied by Christopher Shores.

NOTE: Given that all but one of the day's known Luftwaffe losses were Bf 109s, there seems to have been both overclaiming and mistaken aircraft recognition on the part of the 31st FG's pilots.