357th FG New Photos

Painting by Merle Olmsted, Nooky Booky II, flown by Kit Carson

Joe Cannon and unidentified ground crewman on wing of Little Joe, B6-B, 44-l3887

Armorer John Lewelling with Lonesome Polecat after a runway collision on 3 Feb 1945.

 

Passion Wagon as flown by Charles Weaver. Photo by Robert T. Sands of the 55th FG. Taken when some of the 357th FG spent the night at Wormingford, UK, Dec 1944. Passion Wagon was G4-A, 44-13691 and was flown by Arval Roberson before Charles Weaver.

Charles Weaver's next aircraft coded G4-A, 44-72199 and was later sold to Switzerland. Chuck was assigned this aircraft March of 1945. The nose art is complete on this aircraft, shoe tips are visible. The aircraft had foul weather lights installed on the fuselage. Put into storage post VE-Day ; sold to Switzerland 480202 where it became J-2019; s.o.c. in Switzerland on 580411 and subsequently scrapped. After the move to R-85 Neubiberg, Chuck had 44-63779 assigned, again as G4-A.

Charles Weaver in the cockpit of his 44-63779, G4-A, P-51D-20. The kill markings are Luftwaffe eagle with swastikas. The nude lady on this one had the shoe tips cut off.  No foul weather lights installed on this aircraft.

 

B6-O, 44-72949, Unknown 363rd FS P-51D-25, near the end of the war. Notice crew chief shack made from 75 Gal. Drop Tank boxes in the background.

B6-Q, 44-73222, Unknown 363rd FS P-51D-25, near the end of war. Canopy cover in sad shape. Notice the pylons under the wings! These were known as Zero Length Rocket Launchers. They did not appear until the 357th FG got the D-25 P-51s, which was quite late in the war, probably March 1945. The 357th FG never used them and in fact, most were removed as unnecessary drag and stored in the armaments shacks. You might see D-25s with or without them.

 

Merle Olmsted and Bob Reiter finally solved the mystery of BK's Battle Buggy. Merle noticed that the upper cowl had many mission marks on it, which meant it was probably and old aircraft undoubtedly a D-5 that someone else had flown before. Bob compared the mission marks to the other 364th FS Mustangs and found one that exactly matched, Frenesi. Merle then checked with Tommy Hayes' former crew chief, Bob Krull and asked him who inherited Frenesi when Tommy left. His comments lead to Brian Braley, a relative of Bob's, as the pilot. With this positive ID, we can now say that BK's Battle Buggy was indeed, 44-13318, ex-Frenesi and it almost surely remained C5-N. With this clue, Joe DeShay identified the two guys on the wing in the photo of BK's Battle Buggy above, as Gene Barselou and Bob Krull.

 

The photo of Texan below is a well known shot, however the photo above is the other side of Texan and not so well known., Love of Mine. This was one of the few 357th FG P-51s that had two different names. This second name was probably added by the Crew Chiefs. Texan was serial number 44-11672 (P-51K), code letters B6-W and flown by Lt Col Guernsey Carlisle.



Lt Col Guernsey Carlisle and Texan.

Mary Ann, C5-I Bar, 44-13345, flown by Lt Charles Burtner. Burtner landed in Sweden due to engine problems. You can read more about the adventure to Sweden in the Combat Stories of the 357th.  Photo sent from Gustaf Ekelund in Sweden. Mats Averkvist Photo.

Lt Jake Juszczyk, 362nd FS

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