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Caption from p.103 of '4th Fighter Group - Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz:
'Two unnamed pilots pose alongside the last Mustang (P-51D 44-13779) assigned to Col Don Blakeslee when Commanding 0fficer of the 4th Fighter Group.'

By the time this photo was taken, Colonel Blakeslee had rotated home and 44-13779 had been reassigned to Second Lieutenant (Previously Flight Officer) Olin A Kiser. The extended red nose band (24") appeared in early December 1944 and lasted until about 1st January 1945 when it was swept down under the nose to a point which ended and centered at the wing leading edge. As can be seen, 335th Fighter Squadron aircraft had white rudders with a thin red outline. This embellishment dated from about 10th October 1944.

Connections

Units

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    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...

  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters
    The Headquarters Squadron was made up of true leaders. Most had flown Hurricanes, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs. ...

People

  • 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,...

  • Olin Kiser

    Military | Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot

  • Herman Rasmussen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot
    2nd Lt. Herman S. Rasmussen was killed in action (KIA) when he was hit by flak while strafing the Munich-Bruntthal aerodrome on 9 April 1945. He baled at low altitude from his P-51 Mustang #44-13788 near Neuberg, but his 'chute did not open in time.

Aircraft

  • 44-13779

    P-51 Mustang
    This was the last Mustang assigned to Col. Donald Blakeslee, Commanding Officer of the the 4th Fighter Group. As Blakeslee rotated home in November 1944, the aircraft was reassigned to Lt. Kiser having been repaired.

Locations

  • 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...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2015 09:38:44 Lucy May Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Higher quality image of UPL 15468 sent to the AAM by Pyker (http://www.americanairmuseum.com/user/803)

Caption from p.103 of '4th Fighter Group - Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz provided by Apollo11 (http://www.americanairmuseum.com/user/4351)

Additional details provided by Pyker.

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