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Kendall E Carlson


"Swede" as he was known, came from Red Bluff, California, and was born 14 July 1919. He joined the RCAF and earned his wings in December 1940. When the U.S. established the 4th Fighter Group in England, "Swede" joined them in March 1943. He was assigned to 336th Fighter Squadron flying P-47 Thunderbolts, with which he scored his first victory. Later, flying the new Mustangs, "Swede" shot down three Me-110s in battles during March.
On 22 April his flight attacked 20-plus Me-109s. He chased one down to the deck and destroyed it to become an "Ace". On 25 February 1945, while strafing Kothen Aerodrome, he crash-landed on the airfield but climbed out on the wing to direct the rest of the destruction. He was taken prisoner and headed for POW incarceration, where he remained until the end of the war.
After he was released and returned to the States, he next became involved in the Korean War, where he flew combat missions with the 12 Fighter-Bomber Squadron from July 1950 to January 1951. During this time he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He left the Air Force in April 1951 and returned to red Bluff, where he lived until his death in 1977.


Units served with

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...


  • 44-11356

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) aircraft struck by flak while strafing an aerodrome. After crash landing, pilot Capt Kendall E 'Swede' Carlson continued to direct his airborne comrades onto targets about the airdrome via the R...

  • 41-6575 'Doreen II' 'The Old Man'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. One-time personal aircraft of Capt Kendall Carlson. War Weary [w/w] hack at Martlesham. No unit markings carried, named 'Old Man'.

  • 43-6507 'Judy' 'Jersey Bounce II'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred war weary to 554FTS, 496FTG, 8AF USAAF.

  • 44-72816 'The Dutchess'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Kendall E 'Swede' Carlson. Sold to Swiss AF as J 2089.

Associated Place

  • 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...


Event Location Date
Born Red Bluff, California, USA 14 July 1919
Prisoner of War Köthen, Germany 25 February 1945
Died Red Bluff, CA 96080, USA 1977


Date Contributor Update
16 July 2017 00:12:38 fugari Changes to highest rank

JCook Photo Collection & Archives

Date Contributor Update
16 July 2017 00:12:17 fugari Changes to nickname, role, awards and media associations

JCook Photo Collection & Archives

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 19:16:03 apollo11 Changes to nickname, highest rank, biography, awards, events and place associations

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:47 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 12737 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list