Sources and acknowledgements

My sources for the present piece have been: daily operations/intelligence summaries of Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (MASAF) and Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF); 8th US Air Force Mission Reports; RAF Operations Record Books; Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF) Signals Intelligence Reports; prisoner of war reports; Government Code & Cipher School reports on deciphered Luftwaffe communications; a list of JGr. 200 casualties (thanks to J. Richard Smith); Tony Wood’s compilation of accredited Luftwaffe victories; USAAF Missing Air Crew Reports at fold3.com plus the database at armyairforces.com; and the USAAF Honour Rolls on the Shark Squadron site. From the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg I used documents on the formation and disbandment of units and planning for Allied landings in the West.

Mission reports and other useful material are reproduced on several excellent websites commemorating the USAAF Bombardment, Fighter and Fighter Bomber Groups operating over Southern France in 1944, for example:

1st FG

12th Air Force

15th Air Force

27th FBG

57th FG

57th BW

82nd FG

86th FBG

320th BG

324th FG

325th FG

461st BG

464th BG



There are chronologies of the USAAF in the Mediterranean at http://www.milhist.net/usaaf/mto44a.html and http://www.milhist.net/usaaf/mto44b.html.

The huge collection of US 8th AF fighter pilots' Encounter Reports at http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/ was helpful regarding the action of 14 July 1944.

For the Free French Air Forces, I consulted:

Ciel de Gloire

Les As Français 1939–1945

… and some barely legible operations reports on microfilm at the National Archives.

Information about Uffz. Cöster's temporary captivity came from:

Association 11e Cuirassiers: Vercors, Vosges, Alsace

My thanks to Jan Bobek, Guy Julien Jörn Junker, Lino von Gartzen and Matti Salonen for the information and comments they contributed in response to the publication of the first section of this article. The discussions on the Luftwaffe section of the French site Südwall Superforum have also brought some useful comments. Klaus Fischer and Lino von Gartzen have compiled a list of over 500 pilots who flew with Jagdgruppe Süd and Jagdgruppe 200. Steve Coates provided me with a copy of document Ob.d.L. Fü.St. Ia 8947/43 (which is held in the US National Archives).

I’ve tried as far as possible not to use published sources here, except to cross-check a few points after I’d drafted a narrative from the archival material. This is supposed to be my version of the story and it differs in several particulars from what I've seen in print. Of course you can’t completely do without other people’s work and I’ve referred to:

Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt: À la Reconquête de la France (01.43–08.44), Aéro Journal No. 23 (February–March 2002)

Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt: À la Reconquête de la France (08.44–05.45), Aéro Journal No. 24 (April–May 2002)

Tom Ivie & Paul Ludwig: Spitfires & Yellow Tail Mustangs (Hikoki Publications Ltd., 2005)

Ernest R. McDowell & William N. Hess: Checkertail Clan (Aero Publishers Inc., 1969)

Frank J. Olynyk: Victory List No. 6, USAAF (Mediterranean Theatre) Credits for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft in Ait-to-air Combat, World War 2 (Published by the author, 1987)

Geoffrey J. Thomas & Barry Ketley: KG 200, the Luftwaffe’s Most Secret Squadron (Hikoki Publications Ltd., 2003)

Jean-Bernard Frappé: La Luftwaffe face au Débarquement Allié (Éditions Heimdal, 1999)

A recommended French publication covering the air combat leading up to and during operation Dragoon is:

Guy Julien & Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt Combats dans le Ciel de Provence, Aéro Journal Hors-série No. 2 (2009)

I didn't read my copy until after completing this article. It includes one-page biographies of Eduard Isken and Horst Rippert of JGr. 200 as well as many firsthand accounts from the American side. Guy's narrative of the 1st FG's action against JGr. 200 on 15 August 1944 is especially good.


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