On July 18, 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group was sent to escort bombers to an airfield in Memmingen, Germany. When 66 North American P-51D Mustang pilots arrived at the rendezvous point, the bombers they were to meet weren't there. The fighter pilots circled the area; they spotted the bombers and a swarm of 30 enemy planes at the same time. More than 20 of the P-51 pilots rushed toward the Messerschmitt 109s to break up the attack. The bombers and the rest of the fighters continued toward the target. Near Kempten, Germany, about 25 miles from the target, 30 more enemy planes were spotted. Four of them rushed to attack the bombers; the P-51 pilots fought back.
In all, nine pilots were credited with destroying 12 enemy planes that day. But three men were reported missing: 2nd Lt. Oscar Hutton and Lt. Wellington Irving were last seen over Memmingen, and Lt. Gene Brown was forced to crash-land and was captured.
Excerpted and edited from TogetherWeServed