014266 - STORMING THE BOMBERS: A Chronicle of JG 4 - The Luftwaffe's 4th Fighter Wing, Volume One, 1942-1944
By Erik Mombeeck
The fourth fighter wing of the Luftwaffe was initially established during 1942 and committed to operations in defence of the Rumanian oil fields during 1943. I. JG 4 first saw action in combat against a strike force of B-24 Liberators dispatched on the celebrated low level attack against Ploesti on 1 August 1943, Operation “Tidal Wave”. JG 4 was subsequently deployed in the bitterly fought German defensive campaign on the Italian peninsula during the first half of 1944, prior to being shifted to the Normandy invasion front and then falling back to the frontiers of the Reich in September that year. It was during the summer of 1944 that JG 4 underwent considerable reinforcement with two new Gruppen swelling its ranks. The most effective of these was II. (Sturm)/JG 4, a so-called “Storm” or « assault » wing, built up around a hard core of former Sturmstaffel 1 pilots and an intake of young daredevil volunteers. Committed against the massive USAF bomber fleets pounding the Reich, these German « kamikaze » fighters, as some saw them, were deployed to bring down the American bombers by any means, including ramming if necessary. The first volume of this two part history covers the unit’s establishment, deployments and combat actions through to Autumn 1944, providing for the first time in English a day-by-day, mission-by-mission study of the Luftwaffe’s 4th fighter wing.
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B/w photos throughout