The famous 4th Fighter Group began with an unusual origin, and went on to become the highest-scoring fighter outfit in Europe during World War II. Before America's entry into the war, a group of Yanks entered the fray early as the three RAF "Eagle" Squadrons. By early 1943, the mighty 8th air force arrived in England, and the Eagles became the 4th Fighter group.
Based at RAF Debden, the 4th soon found itself under the command of the legendary Donald J.M. Blakeslee, whose brilliant leadership and combat tactics would earn him the reputation as arguably the finest Fighter Group Commander the U.S. had. Blakeslee and his men were the Americans which prompted Hermann Goering's famous comment that "when he first saw Mustangs over Berlin, he knew Germany had lost the war."
The 4th would produce some of America's greatest aces, such as Don Gentile, John Godfrey, 'Kid' Hofer, 'Mac' McKennon and many others, ultimately destroying more than 1000 enemy aircraft before war's end.
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