Captain James W. Browning, US Army Air Corps
357th Fighter Group, 363rd Fighter Squadron
Jim Browning was born on Oct. 21 1917. Joined the Army Air Corp and received his wings on Aug. 17 1943. He also joined the 363rd Fighter Squadron while it was in training at Tonopah Nev. He was assigned to my flight both in training and in combat. Later, he became a Flight leader and was officially credited with 7 aerial kills.
Jim was the fun loving guy. He named his P-51 Mustang "Gentleman Jim" that was quite befitting although he had a small speck of the devil in him also. He was an excellent pilot and honed his skills with great determination. He could always be depended upon to be there when you needed him. We were great friends.
Captain Browning finished his first tour in August 1944 and after a short R & R he returned to the 363rd in November and started his second tour. On Feb. 9 1945 he was reported Missing in Action when he failed to return from an escort mission. Last seen near Wurges, Germany. Captain Browning's flight was engaged in a fierce dog fight with ME-262's. Captain Bockay was there also and shot down two German jet fighters but never saw Jim's plane again. Apparently, he was involved in a fatal mid air collision with a ME262. He had two more missions to fly to complete his second tour. Captain Browning's decorations include three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Purple Heart, eight Air Medals and the French Croix de Guerre.
Jim Browning with friends Bud Anderson and Chuck Yeager.
Jim Browning's Last Mission.
Collection of WWII newspaper articles on Jim
Jack Roush's restored P-51D "Gentleman Jim"
Gentleman Jim at Oshkosh 2005 with B-17 formation overhead.