44-13761, Capt. Jack M. Ilfrey, 79th FS, 20th FG, 8th AF, USAAF Station 367 Kings Cliffe,
Northamptonshire, Great Britain, Autumn 1944
Captain Jack Ilfrey became an ace in North Africa, where he claimed 5½ kills (and 2 damaged) while flying P-38F “Texas Terror”. He joined
20th FG, 79th FS at USAAF Station Kings Cliffe in England on April 20th, 1944, serving as Ops Officer from June 14th, 1944. He claimed two
more Bf 109Gs on May 24th, flying P-38J “Happy Jack´s go Buggy”. He was shot down behind enemy lines in France on June 12th, but he
successfully evaded capture walking and cycling 150 miles to Allied lines in Normandy with help of French civilians. He became 79th FS CO
on September 7th, leading the unit until December 9th, 1944. He completed 142 combat missions over ETO and MTO. The 20th FG did not
replace their P-38Js with P-51Cs until July 1944, changing them for P-51Ds shortly afterwards. The early Mustangs of the 20th FG are known
to have upper surfaces overpainted with green color, probably with RAF Dark Green, with irregular splitting line between green upper
surfaces and silver/natural metal bottom surfaces. The 20th FG was nicknamed “Loco Busters” because made significant number of attacks
against railroad network.
44-13317, Capt. Donald R. Emerson, 336th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, USAAF Station 356 Debden,
Essex, Great Britain, September 1944
The 4th FG was nicknamed Debden Eagles thanks to its home base and origins, as it was formed from RAF Eagle squadron (71st, 121st and
133rd squadrons). After the incorporation into 8th AF the squadrons were re-named to 334th FS, 335th FS and 336th FS. As of April 1st,
1943 their Spitfires were replaced by P-47s and in February 1944 these were changed for P-51s. Donald Emerson joined the ranks of 4th
Fighter Group on March 9th, 1944 and during the following eight months of duty he flew 89 sorties during which he was credited with 4½
enemy aircraft shot down. On December 25th, 1944 he perished returning from the bomber escort mission when he spotted six Bf 109s. During the ensuing combat he descended close to the terrain and was hit by the anti-aircraft fire over the front. Pilot was probably killed, and
his aircraft crashed nearby the town of Sittard in The Netherlands. However, he had managed to shoot down two of his opponents. Capt.
Emerson had the fuselage port side of his Mustang decorated with boxing Donald Duck in resemblance to his first name. There are seven
kill markings painted under the windshield. From the beginning of September, the invasion stripes on the upper wings and fuselage sides
surfaces of the allied aircraft were deleted and left on the lower surfaces only.
INFO Eduard - January 2021