Original U.S. WWII Spitfire Pilot 307th Fighter Squadron Named A2 Leather Flight Jacket
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an nice A2 leather flight jacket issued to Wilbur C. Dodd, who was a pilot in the 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, 12th Air Force. He flew a Spitfire and was stationed in England in 1942 later moving to Sicily in 1943.
From pilot 307th Ron Brown's diary: "Ran into about 100 Fw's and Me's on the morning mission. Probably got one and a damaged. Others claimed damage on the enemy. Graham was shot up and bellied into a landing strip at Nettuno or Anzio, whatever one wants to call it. Fields and Dodd were shot up but managed to make it back. Haberle was last seen chasing an Me-109 and is "missing in action". 309th also had a couple of boys shot down. On the second mission, I was leading Gunna Blue top cover for Fields in Gunna Red. We sighted eight Fw's and started to attack. About that time, we spotted Me's above us and my flight went into them - breaking them up and allowing the bottom flight of Guano to go unmolested. Fields got his sixth and others got a few damaged."
The jacket is in good condition with original cuffs, waistband, functional zipper and a high quality postwar replacement liner. The tag inside this size 38 jacket has information regarding the maker and contract:
DWG. NO. 30H1415
AIR FORCE U.S. ARMY
AERO LEATHER CLO. CO.
The best aspect of this jacket are the name tag the reads W.C. DODD in gold embossed lettering and a painted leather 307th Fighter Squadron Patch on the left chest. The insignia is an angry wasp with boxing gloves and fangs. We’ve even been able to find a photograph of DODD and other pilots of the 307th where he is identified in the group. A copy of the photo is included with this jacket.
History of the 307th Fighter Squadron:
The 307th Fighter Squadron was activated as part of the 31st Fighter Group at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana on Jan 30, 1942. Lt Marvin L. McNickle was appointed the Squadron's first Commanding Officer. On February 6 they moved to New Orleans Army Air Field and were equipped with P-40B Tomahawks for a short while before switching to P-39s. Transferred to the 8th Air force in mid May, they shipped for England in early June and established themselves at Atcham, England on June 11, 1942. The Squadron was equipped with Spitfire Vbs and assigned the squadron code MX. They familiarized themselves with their new Spitfires, learned RAF methods and trained at Atcham until August 1 when they were deemed ready for combat and moved to Biggin Hill. The 307th's first operational mission took place on August 17 when they took part in Circus 204 to Lille. Major McNickle led the squadron which acted as rear support and cover. Three missions were flown during Operation Jubilee, the Dieppe operation on August 19. Lt. Torvea was taken POW and Lt. Wright was killed, however the squadron made its first claims against the enemy. Captain Robertson and Lt. John White were credited with 1 FW-190 destroyed and 1 FW-190 probable while Lt. Whisonant was given credit for 1 FW-190 damaged. Following the Dieppe raid the 307th took part in Circus missions to St Omer, France and Ostend, Belgium before moving to Merston on the 23rd. Captain George Lebreche replaced Major McNicke as squadron CO on the 30th. Under the control of the RAF, routine patrols and missions to Le Havre and Aldermaston occupied the 307th until October 13 when they were declared non-operational. On the 22nd the 307th had joined the rest of the 31st FG, now part of the 12th Air Force, on board ship en route to North Africa.
Operation Torch, the Invasion of North Africa, commenced on November 8, 1942. The ground echelon went ashore at Arzeu that afternoon. The pilots flew their Spitfires from Gibraltar to Tafaraoui, Algeria on the 9th. The 307th saw action against French ground targets prior to the French surrender on the 11th. The squadron moved the 5 miles to Le Senia, Algeria on the 12th where they flew routine and uneventful patrols in their sector for the next five weeks. On December 21 the 307th moved to Maison Blanche, Algeria. Operating independently of the rest of the 31st they were primarily tasked with escorting transports from Algeria to Tunisia. On February 7th the 307th rejoined the 31st FG when they moved to Thelepte, Tunisia. Flying 12 ship formations that were generally led by Major LaBreche the 307th was busy flying three to four missions a day escorting P-39s attacking German positions. On the 15th the squadron, led by 31st CO Dean, got into a scrap with the Luftwaffe with Lt. Jerry Collinsworth claiming a FW-190 destroyed, Lts. Marlin Mitchell and John White each claiming ME-109s destroyed and Lt. Malcolm Hormats damaging a FW-190. Due to the advancing German army, the 31st had to abandon Thelepte on the 17th. The 307th bounced through Tebessa, Youks-les-Bains on the 21st, Kalaa Djerda on the 24th, Du Kouif on March 7, and back to Thelepte on March 11. Despite all the moving the 307th still managed missions escorting P-39s and A-20s to the front. On February 23rd Lt. Mitchell claimed a ME-109 shot down near Kasserine Pass. Lt. Collinsworth claimed a FW-190 destroyed on March 8th during a patrol to Pichon, after the squadron was bounced and Lt Thomas shot down. The weather improved through March and daily missions were flown either escorting A-20s or flying sweeps to the following areas: Mezzouna, Maknassy, Gafsa, Gabes, El Guettar, Fondouk, and Faid. On the 21st the squadron got into a bit of a scrap near Maknassy, resulting in a Ju-87 claimed by Lt. Maurice Langsberg.
On April 2 while on an escort mission to La Fauconnerie, the 307th got into a fight with a mixed flight of 10 ME-109s and FW-190s with Lt Henry Huntington downing a Me-109. Escorting A-20s to La Fauconnerie again on the 5th the squadron tangled with FW-190s attacking the bombers, with Lts. Jerry Collinsworth and Charles Fischette each downing a FW-190. On the 6th the 307th received the first of their new Spitfire Mk IXs. The Germans were now in retreat in North Africa. In order to be able to reach the front lines the 307th moved to Djilma on the 7th and to Le Sers, along with the rest of the 31st FG, on the 12th. After a week of relative inactivity, the 307th had a good day on the 21st destroying 7 German aircraft. During the first sweep of the day to the Tunis area the 307th engaged 16 ME-109s and FW-190s with Lts. J. White and Hawkins each knocking down a ME-109. Engaging 6 to 8 FW-190s during their second sweep of the day, the 307th scored again with Lts. Roland Wooten, William Bryson and J. White destroying FW-190s. Capt. Davis shot down 2 FW-190s. Another sweep to Tunis on May 6th was productive for the 307th. In a fierce battle directly over the city, Lts. Robert Chaddock, Hormats, Collinsworth, and Fischette each downed enemy fighters. On May 12th the Axis officially surrendered all forces remaining in North Africa.
On May 17 the Squadron began moving to Korba on the Gulf of Tunis. The 307th was back in action on June 10th escorting bombers to the Italian island stronghold of Pantelleria. In an engagement over the harbour against 30 plus enemy aircraft Lt. White destroyed an ME-109 and a FW-190, Capt. Bryson destroyed a FW-190 and Lt. Wooten destroyed a ME-109. Lt. Fischette destroyed one ME-109 and shared a probable with Lt. Wooten. Lt. Collinsworth accounted for a Me-109 probable and damaged another. The next day on the 11th Pantelleria fell but the 307th engaged a formation of bombers and fighters attacking the invasion fleet. Captains Collinsworth and Bryson and Lt. White each shot down an enemy plane. Lt. Fischette downed two. Jerry Collinsworth, John White, and Charles Fischette were all aces now. The 307th ended the North Africa Campaign with a total of 33 enemy aircraft destroyed.
On June 30 the pilots flew their Spitfires to their new base on Gozo, located 2 miles from Malta and 80 miles from Sicily. On July 10 the 307th flew as cover for the invasion of Sicily, Operation Huskey. Lts. Johnson and Conley were shot down by American flak as most likely was Lt. Goldenberg the next day. On the 11th Capts. Collinsworth and John Winkler shot down two FW-190s with Capt. Wooten damaging another. On July 14 the squadron moved to Ponte Olivo, Sicily. A week later they were located at Agrigento then moved to Palermo on the 27th. On August 1 the 307th moved again to Termini on the northern coast of Sicily, putting Italy within the range of the Spitfires. During a mission covering shipping near Cape Orlando on the 11th, Lt. Chaddock downed an Macchi 202 while Lts. Carroll Pryblo and Delton Graham shared a FW-190 destroyed. Sicily officially surrendered on August 17, 1943. During the first week of September the 307th staged at Milazzo expecting to soon move to Italy with the upcoming invasion.
The invasion of Italy at Salerno took place on September 9. The 307th covered shipping and the landing beaches where Capt. Fields scored a probable of a DO-217. Return fire from the bomber's gunner hit his engine however, causing him to crash on the beach. He was fortunately picked up by a ship from the invasion fleet. Lt. Graham had to put down his overheating Spitfire during a mission over Italy on the 10th, was captured, but escaped arriving back at Milazzo on the 14th. Routine patrols continued over the Salerno beaches with Lt. Hormats downing a JU-88 on the 15th. Finally by September 23 the landing area around Salerno was secure enough for the 307th to make the move to Monte Corvino, Italy. On the 25th Lt. Johnston shot down a FW-190 directly over the airfield. On October 2 Major Davis was ordered back to the states leaving Lt. Virgil Fields in command of the squadron. On October 13th the squadron moved to Pomigliano located about nine miles northeast of Naples. The mud from all the rain in early October had made flying out of Monte Corvino practically impossible. The cement runway at Pomigliano was certainly an improvement. October proved to be a disappointing month for the 307th with the only score being a FW-190 probable awarded to Lt. Brown. Missions flown were primarily in direct support of the ground troops or escort of medium bombers. November started off better with Lt. Van Natta claiming a ME-109 near Segni on the 2nd. With the Germans making a push towards Naples early in November, the Luftwaffe, scarce in October, were once more to be seen. After a series of convoy patrols and uneventful sweeps over the lines, things picked up on the 12th. During a sweep over the lines the 307th engaged five FW-190s with Lts. John Clark and Storms each claiming FW-190s. Lts. Brown and Michael Adams shared a probable and one damaged. The next day, the 13th, Capt. Fields and Lt. Norman Tucker each bagged one on another sweep of the lines. The weather was poor for the remainder of November and the 307th only managed a few patrols, a sweep to Rome, and a strafing mission. With the weather clearing early in December the squadron was tasked with putting up two or three patrols a day over the front lines. On the 14th the 307th finally saw some action again with Capt. Fields downing an ME-190 over the lines. The next day Lt. Tucker shot down an ME-109 over the Liri river, however Lt. Archer was missing. After these actions the squadron returned to uneventful patrols of the bombline and finished off 1943 with no further engagements against the enemy.
On January 3, 1944 Col. McCorkle, the 31st FG CO, shot down a FW-190 near Cassino while leading the 307th on a patrol. On the 8th Capt. Fields destroyed a FW-190 when the squad encountered 15 190s during a bombline patrol. On January 18th the 307th moved to Castel Volturno, 21 miles northwest of Naples. Escorting A-20s hitting Pontecorvo on the 20th, the 307th engaged Luftwaffe fighters making for the bombers. In the melee that followed, Lt. Maurice Vaughn downed one, Lts. Frederick Bohl and Joseph Tyus shared one destroyed, and Capt. Fields damaged one. The invasion at Anzio took place on January 22 with the 307th flying two missions over the invasion fleet. Returning from escorting A-20s to Cisterna on the 26th, the 307th tangled with a gaggle of 109s and 190s over Nettuno. Major Fields downed a FW-190, Lt. Tucker destroyed a ME-109, and Lt. Moore damaged 2 FW-190s. Lts. Brown and Livingston each shot up a FW-190. Major Field's victory made him an ace. The German reaction to the Anzio landings was fierce. Two patrols over Anzio on the 28th brought heavy action for the 307th. Lt. Pryblo downed an FW-190 and damaged another. Major Fields claimed another destroyed. Lts. Bell, Rostron, and Beaver, each damaged one.
On the 1st of February, the squadron moved to Nettuno, a dirt airstrip along the coast near Anzio. Scrambled from Nettuno on the 5th, four Spitfires of the 307th climbed up to a formation of ten plus FW-190s. Lts. Robert Caid, Elmer Livingston and FO Reginald Gilbert each shot down a FW-190. The next day was a black day indeed. The 307th was bounced and Major Fields shot down & killed by a ME-109. In the ensuing fight, Lts. Tyus and Moore each destroyed a FW-190. Major Alvan Gillem transferred from the 309th to take command of the 307th. Operations were suspended at Nettuno on February 16. Nettuno had been bombed & shelled repeatedly since the squadron's arrival. Nettuno was no longer tenable as a base of operation so the pilots flew their Spitfires back to Castel Volturno. The ground echelon would spend a rather miserable couple of weeks more stuck at Nettuno before they could all be evacuated. The 307th engaged 20 ME-109s on the 27th during a patrol over Anzio. Capt. Clark downed a ME-109. Lts. Gfeller, Vaughn and F/O Gilbert claimed damage to Me109s. Daily patrols over the Anzio beach head continued into March. With the German push at Anzio slackening, the Luftwaffe was not seen as much during the first half of March, however on the 13th Lts. Vaughn and Livingston downed ME-109s near Circeo. Things were heating up at Cassino and the 307th got into a number of scraps with German fighters over the Liri Valley on the 18th. Lt. Hardage nailed a FW-190 that crashed. Lt. John Gfeller got to within 24 feet and tore up a 190 that crashed into the mountains. Lt. Kenneth Haydis downed a FW-190 and Lt Pryblo blew the wing off a 190 which went in. Unfortunately Lt O'Brien was missing. For the rest of March patrols to Cassino and Anzio were routine and uneventful. Their last mission in Spitfires was a sweep to Rome on the 29th. They then parked their Spitfires. They were changing over to P-51s. Their time in Spitfires and the Twelfth Air Force was over. The Spitfires had served the 307th well allowing the squadron to score 65 victories.
The 307th spent the first week of April picking up their new P-51s from Africa and moving to San Severo. As part of the 15th Air Force they would be escorting heavy bombers to strategic targets in Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Italy, and Germany. They would be flying most of their missions with the entire 31st FG now. Their first mission in their new planes was to Turnal Severin, Yugoslavia on the 16th. On April 21 the 307th escorted bombers to Ploesti, Romania. In an engagement against 18 enemy fighters, Lt. Gilbert shot down two while Lt Bohl destroyed a FW-190 and damaged another. Lts. Dillard and Cottrell damaged ME-109s. On the 23rd, en route to Weiner Neustadt, Austria, Lt. Gilbert downed two and Lts. Pryblo and Nelson each got a ME-109. Major James Goodson, visiting the 31st from the 4th FG, flew with the 307th and destroyed two more. Another mission to Ploesti was flown on the 24th with Lt. Gilbert shooting down a He-111 and Lt. Bohl destroying a ME-109. Lt Riddle downed a ME-109 during the mission to Piombino, Italy on the 28th however Lt. Rostron was lost. On May 2 Major Gillem destroyed a Macchi during the mission to Castel Maggiore, Italy. On the 5th the 31st FG ran into 75 to 100 enemy fighters over Ploesti. The 307th knocked down four of them with Lts. McElroy, Shipman, Frazier and Major Gillem scoring. Major Gillem scored again on the May 7th mission to Bucharest, Romania. Lt. Nelson also destroyed a Me-109. Major Gillem was promoted to Lt Col, awarded the DFC and giving orders to return home. On May 17th Capt. Sam Brown took command of the 307th. The next day Capt. Brown led the 307th back to Ploesti where he claimed a probable. Lts Dillard and Brooks each claimed one destroyed. The 307th had a good day on the May 24 escort mission to Munchendorf, Austria downing 6 Luftwaffe planes. Lts. Brooks, White, Riddle, Dilliard, Boyd, and Bradley scored with Lt. White also accounting for 3 probables and a damaged. Escorting bombers to Weiner Neustadt Wallersdorf Airdrome on the 29th the 307th destroyed 5 more. Capt. Brown downed two ME-110s. In their first two months of flying the P-51 the 307th was credited with 32 1/2 enemy aircraft destroyed.
The enemy wasn't to be seen during the escort missions to marshaling yards at Oradea, Turin, and Castel Maggiore. They were still at Ploesti however when the 307th flew another mission there on the 6th of June. Lt. Carl Brown downed a ME-109 and shared one with Lt. Smith. The 307th flew its first mission to Germany on June 9th. Oberpfoffenhopen and Wessling airdromes near Munich, Germany were the targets. Oberpfoffenhopen airdrome was the target again on June 13. This time the enemy showed up and paid for it. Lt. Dillard knocked one down while Lts. Main & Shipman shared in the destruction of another. That brought the tally of victories to 100 for the squadron. The following day the squadron got into it again, tangling with a dozen ME-210s near the Drava River during a mission to the oil refineries at Budepest, Hungary. Capt. Brown, Lt. Col. Daniel, and Lt. Antonini each got one. The 307th re-equipped with the P-51D and flew their first mission in it to oil refineries at Triesti, Italy on June 22nd. The next day it was back to Ploesti for the seventh time. Lt. Riddle destroyed two FW-190s and damaged two others. Lts. Brooks and Maurice Surratt each downed a ME-109. The 31st FG flew a fighter sweep to Bucharest, Romania on the 24th. Unfortunately only one enemy aircraft was sighted which Lt Main promptly destroyed. Lt. Robert Riddle made ace when he knocked down his fifth enemy plane during the June 25 mission to the Avignon, France marshaling yards. Lt. Brown destroyed another as did Colonel McCorkle, the 31st CO, who flying with the 307th that day. The next day the 307th hammered the Germans at Vienna. Capt. Brown and his wingman F/O Jay attacked a formation of 30 ME-410s making for the bombers. Capt. Brown clobbered three of them plus a ME-109 that was covering. F/O Jay bagged two of the ME-410s. In the meantime the rest of the 307th chased a pack of ME-109s with Lt. Main destroying one while Lts. Shipley and Bradley teamed up for another. Lt. Schanning shot down a hapless trainer for good measure. On the down side Lt. Main never made it back. The month of June was rounded out with escort missions to Budapest, Bucharest, and a really long one to Blechhammer, Germany.
It was back to Budapest on July 2nd. This time the 307th scored with F/O Jay destroying two ME-109s and Lt. Shipman destroying one and claiming another probably destroyed. Lt. Shipman scored again on the July 7th mission to Blechhammer, Germany as did Lt. Riddle. Ploesti was the target on the 9th and the 15th with Lt. Riddle getting a ME-109 on the July 15 mission. Lt. Riddle continued his hot streak by downing another the next day during the mission to Vienna. The bombers didn't show up during the July 18th mission to Freidrichshafen, Germany so the 31st went hunting at Memminger Airdrome. Lt. Brooks and Dillard as well as Capt. Buck and F/O Edler downed FW-190s. Lt. Walz went missing however and Edler had to bail over northern Italy due to engine damage. That was five for Lt. James Brooks placing him in the ranks of the aces. Lt. Ernest Shipman was next to make ace scoring his fifth victory during the July 21st mission to Brux, Germany. Capt. Buck got one that day as well.
Operation Frantic III a shuttle mission to Russia began July 22nd. The 31st FG provided cover for 71 P-38s of the 82nd and 14th FGs, tasked with pounding airdromes in Romania, on the trip to Russia. Five and a half hours later the 16 planes of the 307th landed at Piryatin, a soviet airdrome in the Ukraine 80 miles east of Kiev. On the 25th 12 P-51s from the 307th took off with the rest of the 31st FG to escort the P-38s on a strafing mission to the airfield at Mielec, Poland. Released from escort duties on the way back to Piryatin, the 307th went hunting and found a formation of 36 Ju-87 Stukas. During the wild flurry that followed the 307th shot down 21 of them, as well as claiming 3 probables and 6 more damaged! The next day the 307th left Russia for San Severo with the rest of the 31st. On the way back the 307th strafed the airfield at Buzau shooting up six Luftwaffe planes on the ground as well as three locomotives and rolling stock. On the way out Major Brown and Lt. Brooks each downed a ME-109, with Lts. House and Bradley sharing another destroyed.
Back to Ploesti for the tenth time on July 28th but no luck for the 307th this time. Bad luck befell the 307th the next day when Lt. Shipman was shot down by a P-38. He was however seen to bail out. The 307th brawled with 40 enemy fighters over Bucharest on the 31st with Lt. Edmund Antonini claiming two destroyed and one damaged, however Lt. Jones didn't return. Missions to Avignon, Freidrichshafen, and Lyon during the first week of Aufust were uneventful. The mission to Blechhammer however stirred up 30 German fighters which attacked the 307th. When the dust settled Lts. Riddle and Skogstad had each downed two and Capt. Buck another. Lt. Richards unfortunately was missing. From August 12 to 16 the 307th supported the invasion of southern France known as Operation Anvil. There sure wasn't much opposition to be seen and the missions were uneventful. Ploesti was the target again for three days in a row starting on August 17th. The 307th had a big fight with ME-109s on the 18th with Lt. Skogstad quickly adding two to his tally while Lt. Riddle scored his 11th victory. A series of uneventful missions followed to Auschwitz, Nis Yugoslavia, Blechhammer, Weiner Neusdorf, and Kolin Czechoslovakia. On August 25 the 307th beat up the airdrome at Prostejov-Kostelec, Czechoslovakia. Lt. Brooks shot down two in the fracas. Lt. Quigley was lost. Lt. Brooks was awarded a well deserved Silver Star the next day. On the way home from the mission to the Mossierbaum Chemical & cooking plant on the 28th the 307th destroyed 4 enemy transports, Lt. Surratt getting two and Lts. Hendel and Skogstad one apiece. Lt. Norman Skogstad's victory made him an ace in record time. On August 29th the 307th escorted bombers to Mostravka Ostrav, Czechoslovakia. Lt. James Brooks led the group and also knocked down two more enemy fighters bringing his victory tally to 13 destroyed. Lt Wolvern destroyed one and damaged another. The 307th was at their best during the summer months of June, July, and August 1944, being credited with 74 victories.
Romania surrendered in late August and Bulgaria went neutral. In September 44 the entire 31st FG would only account for 5 enemy planes shot down. Lts. Skogstad and Galiotto found two JU-52s over Yugoslavia on September 2nd, which they promptly shot down. That was all the scoring the 307th would do in September. Missions to Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, Munich, and the Odertal oil refinery were routine and unopposed. Lt. Walthman failed to return from the September 15th mission to Athens, Greece when his engine quit. Two of the 307th's aces, CO Major Sam Brown and Capt. Brooks left for home the next day. Capt. Gfeller took over command of the squadron. Missions to Budapest, Szab, Gyor, and Bekescaba, all in Hungary were unopposed. The 307th finished off September with two unopposed missions to Munich. It appeared that the actions of the summer had clean knocked the Luftwaffe from existence. Missions to Munich, Germany on October 4th and Vienna, Austria on the 7th were unopposed. On a strafing mission to Czechoslovakia on the 11th Lt. Galiotto came upon a FW-190. He made the most of this rare opportunity and shot it down. Unfortunately for the 307th that was the only opportunity, and victory, that the 307th had during the month of October. The 309th encountered 100 plus enemy planes during the Brux mission on the 16th. The 307th however missed all the fun where and didn't see a one. Through the rest of October, missions to Blechhammer, Brux, Plzen, and Regensburg were unopposed.
The 307th flew three missions to Vienna and others to Linz and Maribor, Yugoslavia during the first week of November. Lts. Beckman and Ryder shared a ME-109 destroyed near Lake Balaton during the November 6th mission to Vienna. Lt. Bush knocked down a ME-109 on the November 16th mission to the Munich, Germany marshaling yards. Lt Hodkinson failed to return from the strafing mission to Hungary on the 19th, however it was learned the next day that the partisans had picked him up. Three more missions to Munich, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia rounded out November's activity before bad weather cancelled all operations during the last week of the month. Escort for photo reconnaissance P-38s and Mosquitos became common place during December. The big missions to Blechhammer, Vienna, Regensburg, and Rosenheim during the first half of the month went unopposed. The Luftwaffe was up in force for the December 17 mission to the Blechhammer & Odertal oil refineries. Lt. Skogstad downed two FW-190s making for the bombers. Lt. Weiler got another. The next day Lt. Zimmerman downed a JU-88 near Zagreb, Yugoslavia. For the remainder of December, missions to Blechhammer, Regensburg, Wels, Osweicim, Graz, Rosenheim, and the Kraloupy & Roundnice Czechoslovakia oil refineries were fairly routine and unopposed. A photo recon escort mission on December 26 was sure interesting though when the 307th saw their first ME-262.
The weather was bad in January 1945. When it wasn't raining it was snowing. At one point San Severo was buried under a foot of snow. Aside from a few photo recon escorts the only missions flown were to Trento, Klagenfurt, Vienna, Regensburg, and Mossbierbaum. These missions were flown without enemy opposition so the 307th finished the month with no victories, as did the entire 31st FG for that matter. The weather improved in February but not the opportunity to fight it out with the Luftwaffe. Me-262s were seen on three separate photo recon escort missions, which added a little excitement. A couple of ME-109s were chased away on the 17th, but that was about all the 307th saw of the Luftwaffe during February and so came up empty again. Missions to Mossbierbaum, Regensburg, Vienna, Fiume, Amstetten, Klagenfurt, Bolzano, Linz, Zagreb, and Augsburg were uneventful and routine..
The 307th, along with the rest of the 31st FG, moved to a new base at Mondolfo on March 3rd. The next day they flew their first mission from their new base, escorting C-87s dropping supplies to partisans in Yugoslavia. Escort missions to Hegyshalom, Hungary, Verona, Vienna, and a strafing mission to Yugoslavia were routine. Captain Antonini replaced Major Gfeller as the 307th commander on the 12th. Finally some action! On the 18th Lts. Bunn and Schara got lucky and ran across two JU-88s near Lake Balaton. They made the most of the opportunity and shot them both down. The next day the squadron flew a mission to the Muhldorf, Germay marshaling yards escort, where two ME-262s were seen. Missions to Wels and Munich were routine but during the March 22rd mission to Ruhland, Germany 25 to 30 ME-262s attacked the bombers. The 307th got a chance to tangle with the jets in a running battle lasting 30 minutes, with a couple of the pilots getting some shots off at them. March 24th was a big day for the 307th and 31st since the target was Berlin! ME-262s attacked the bombers and Lts. Wilson and Bunn got a squirt at them. The next day the 307th bounced six FW-190s taking off from Olomouc Airdrome in central Moravia. Lt. Skogstad shot four of them down in short order while Lts. Van Winkle and Pelt got the other two. The 307th kept up the pressure during a sweep and strafing mission to Pagensburg on the 31st with Major Ramsey, and Lts. Vernon and Womack each knocking down a FW-190. The 307th scored its last victory of the war April 4th 1945. Lt. Milton Varous sent a Do-217 down to crash near Lake Wurm. That brought the squadron's total for the war to 192, best in the 31st FG. The primary targets of the 15th Air Force, oil refineries and marshaling yards, were largely pulverized by this time in the war. The 307th switched to helping the 12th Air Force by escorting tactical bombers, as well as strafing ground targets, in Northern Italy for the remainder of April. The end of fighting in Italy was announced on May 2nd. The end of the war in Europe came when the Germans surrendered on May 7, 1945.
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