Brazil was a major supplier of radio grade quartz crystals for the United States throughout World War II. Brazil had attacked and sunk several submarines along its coastline, before joining the Allies by declaring war on Germany and Italy on August 22, 1942, after the sinking of several Brazilian ships by U-Boats. In 1944, a group of volunteers from the Brazilian Air Force travelled to the United States of America for advanced operational training, before joining the US Army Air Forces as the First Brazilian Fighter Squadron under the command of Lt. Col. Nero Moura. On arrival in Italy on October 6 1944, the squadron was attached to the 12th Air Force and, equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts, flew it's first mission on November 11.
Between their arrival in Italy and January 22, 1944, the squadron flew 897 sorties, dropped 339 bombs and destroyed 159 enemy road vehicles, one locomotive, 33 railway vehicles, 6 bridges, 3 fuel dumps, 2 ammunition dumps, one supply dump and one aircraft. The squadron also scored 94 cuts on vital railways, and damaged 9 enemy occupied buildings, 105 enemy vehicles, 36 locomotives, 306 railway vehicles, 7 bridges, 5 ships and small boats and one aircraft. 5 P-47s were lost to AA fire.
- ↑ Thompson, Richard. Crystal Clear: The Struggle for Reliable Communications Technology in World War II. IEEE Press (2007), Page 177
- ↑ Gunston, Bill (Forward). Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Tiger Books. 1989. ISBN 1-85501-996-5. (Reprint of Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1945/1946. Bridgeman, Leonard (Editor). 1946). Page 18