-The 56th Fighter Group (made up of the 61, 62 & 63 squadrons) was one of the most storied Air Corps units of World War II. Home to aces like David Schilling (22 kills), Frances "Gabby" Gabreski (28), Robert S. Johnson (27), Fred Christensen (21.5), Walker Mahurin (21), and CO Hubert "Hub" Zemke (18), the 56th blazed an early trail across the skies of the ETO in their massive, but deadly P-47 Thunderbolts.
"Ramrod to Emden" is the story of the Dec 11, 1943 bomber escort mission (aka "a ramrod") to Emden, Germany. As you'll see in the film, the 56th encountered heavy, determined opposition from Germans, but it proved to be an exceptionally productive day. With Lt. Col. Schilling leading 50 planes of the group, they claimed 17-0-5, with two aircraft lost in a midair collision and no aircraft lost to enemy action. Allied bomber losses were minimal.