12 Air Force 1st Fighter Group 71st Fighter Squadron

Bomber escort, Dive Bombing and Strafing Missions

Based in Algeria and Tunisia, 1943

P-38 PilotMajor Fredric Arnold

Dedicated to the Class of 42J


1st.FG Shield

1st Fighter Group


97th Bomb Group B-17 Bombers were escorted to their Italian Targets by P-38 Interceptors


P-38 Web file photo- thanks offered!



Poem and page from Col. Wm. L. Rossí Photo Album




P-38 Pilot Fredric Arnold



From: Doorknob52@aol.com [mailto:Doorknob52@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2007 1:36 AM
To: Cook, Douglas J.
Subject: Re: P-38 Fighter Pilot Book†††††
For details: www.doorknob52.com.



In a message dated 8/24/2007 Doorknob52@aol.com writes:


You must be very proud of your father and father-in-law. Remarkable men!


Amazing coincidence! One stanza of the poem, Lightnings in the Sky, is quoted in my book (Page 104) in a letter from my brother in 1943. Like the author of the poem, Bob was also a radio-operator gunner on B-17s.More amazing - checked my combat flight log and almost half my B-17 escort missions matched the mission logs of the 97th Bomb Group. Same days. Same targets. We were there!





Fredric Arnold



Itís an honor to correspond with you.It seems obvious that you were connected to my father-in-law in the 97th BG as fighter escort.I wonder who did write the poem if not in fact your brother?May I briefly quote you and promote your book on the website?


My father was in Corsica as a B-25 pilot in 1944, also on the website: http://www.redog1944.com


Thanks again,


Doug Cookdouglas.cook@aramco.com


The author of the poem Lightnings in the Sky was Tech. Sgt. Robert H. Bryson, Radio Operator-Gunner. He wrote it while on an unescorted mission in a B-17 Flying Fortress over North Africa. The P-38 was the only fighter plane capable of escorting bombers to their targets and return.


The poem first appeared in a publication, the Lockheed "Star" in 1943.


Our Squadron escorted B-17s, B-25s, and B-26s. We also dive bombed and strafed military targets. I finished my 50 mission tour of combat duty in July 1943 before your father was in Corsica.


Of our original 14 P-38 fighter pilots, 12 were killed. I was one of the two survivors. The tragic loss of my comrades is memorialized in the film documentary, Between Two Worlds, presently being screened at film Festivals throughout the country and has won several Best Documentary Awards. I have listed DVDs on eBay. For details: www.doorknob52.com.


After you have read my book, I hope you will be able to make favorable comments for the public.


Our correspondence has touched me deeply.


With warm regards

Fredric Arnold