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3 March 1944 - Lt Col. Don Blakeslee hands his maps to crew chief S/Sgt Harry East before climbing out of his P-51B Mustang after the 4th Fighter Group's first Berlin escort mission.
The mission was not a rousing success, for although the 4th FG destroyed eight enemy aircraft, four of its Mustangs failed to return to Debden.



  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...


  • Donald Blakeslee

    Military | Colonel | Fighter pilot, Commanding Officer
    Don Blakeslee was born on 11 September 1917 in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. As a boy, he became captivated with planes while watching the Cleveland National Air Races held only 30 miles away from his home at 529 7th St, Fairport Harbor, Ohio. In 1938,...

  • Harry East

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Crew Chief
    Harry was the one-time crew chief for Colonel Don Blakeslee. He was with the 4th Fighter Group from January 1943 - June 1945.


  • 43-6437

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Lt Col Don Blakeslee led the 4th Fighter Group in this aircraft on their first escort mission to Berlin on 3 March 1944. Although a notoriously unreliable aircraft, Blakeslee kept 43-6437 because of its rare Malcolm...


  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Date Contributor Update
25 April 2015 17:17:21 apollo11 Changes to caption

Personal research & 4th Fighter Group 'Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz.

Date Contributor Update
25 April 2015 17:14:37 apollo11 Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Personal research & 4th fighter Group 'Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz.