357th FG Mustangs in Sweden

By Johan Brobakken

I´ve done some research about 357th FG Mustangs unplanned war trips to Sweden. Because Sweden was neutral in the war as Switzerland, many airplanes (axis and allied) landed because of fuel problems, navigation problems or damage etc. Or were forced down because of Swedish flak and fighters. The only aircraft from the 357th that landed in Sweden during the war were the following:

  Date/time/down at                     Type/Serial Number                 Code            Target/ Mission.

  1944-08-25 13:00 Lomma        P-51D-5-NA, 44-13345  C5-I (bar over I) Rechlin (Ramrod)

Ac. Named Mary Ann , later J 26 (26003) in the Swedish Air Force


1944-08-25 13:00 Lomma           P-51B-15-NA, 42-106854            C5-(B)            Rechlin (Ramrod)

  Ac. Named Peabody´s Pet , Ac scrapped in 1945.


Lt Walter Baron on the wing and Crew Chief Dick Eagan with P-51B, 42-106854, "Peabody's Pet", C5-B.

The 25th of August 1944.

1/Lt. C.E. Burtner (Mary Ann) and 1/Lt. Walter Baron were part of a fighter escort of bombers against targets in Rechlin, Germany. During the bombing, Burtner reported that he had engine problems with heavy vibrations in the fuselage. He was given the directions for Sweden (from the CO of the fighter escort or a bomber navigator probably...). Baron, (Peabody's Pet) decided to escort Burtner to Sweden and make sure that no Jerry caught him on the way. At 13:00 Burtner landed on a field near Lomma. Baron made a successful belly landing near Burtner. . Swedish forces arrived quickly to the field and interned both men.  Baron and Burtner returned to Britain in late October 1944.

Johan is also doing research on Captain John B. England's connection to Sweden. It is believed he lead a group of Mustangs to Sweden after the war, delivering 357th FG Mustangs to the Swedish Air Force.  There was a Mustang named "U´ve Had It!" that landed in Sweden, but it belonged to the 339FG, 503FS.


"Mary Ann", C5-I Bar, 44-13345 flown by Charles Burtner. Mats Averkvist Photo.