ETO Fighter Planes

This is the P-51B Mustang “Shangri La” flown by Don Gentile of Ohio, one of the great aces of the ETO, who’d served with the American Volunteers of the “Eagle Squadron,” prior to being folded-into the USAAF’s 4th Fighter Group, once America joined the war.

The North American P-51B Mustang below was flown by Congressional Medal of Honor winner Lt. Col. James H. Howard, of the 356th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, of the 9th Air Force in the ETO.  This two-view rendering also contains Howard’s unit emblems, including the Flying Tigers emblem from his time with the American Volunteer Group, where he earned victories over several Japanese pilots, before transferring into the USAAF, and entering the fray over Europe. 

All on his own, suddenly finding himself separated from the rest of his squadron, he went-ahead, and defended an American bomber formation by repeatedly attacking mutiple swarms of German fighters, shooting down one after another, engaging in one dogfight after another, fighting all by himself, for half an hour, an eternity, in air combat terms, while the astonished bomber crews he was busy defending kept asking each other, “Who is that guy?”  Howard’s humble explanation for his heroism?  “I seen my duty, and I done it.”

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning “California Cutie,” below,  a classic example of a D-Day paint scheme on an ETO fighter, was flown by 1st Lt. Richard Loehnert of the 55th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, staging from RAF Kings Cliffe, in Northamptonshire, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire,  in the UK. 

Another fine example of a D-Day paint scheme was applied to this beauty, the P-51D Mustang, “TANGERINE,” of the 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, of the 8th Air Force, flown by Lt. Henry “Hank” Pfeiffer, one of the “Yoxford Boys,” staging out of Leiston Airfield, Suffolk.

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