KITS 01/2021

44-13597, Lt. William E. Fowler, 487th FS, 352nd FG, 8th AF, USAAF Station 141 Bodney,

Norfolk, Great Britain, September 1944

Lt. Col. John C. Meyer, acting CO of the 487th FS and the ace credited with 37½ destroyed enemy aircraft, claimed four of his 24 aerial victories in cockpit of this mount on September 11th, 1944. Stardust was originally a personal aircraft of Lt. William E. Fowler, nicknamed „Flaps“,

who ended his combat tour just three days before Meyer´s four-victory raid. The Stardust was than assigned to Lt. Jack „Moose“ Landrum,

who renamed it „Moose“. He was shot down and killed on October 24th, 1944, while strafing at Hannover. The 352nd Fighter Group, based

at USAAF Station Bodney, was fourth most successful FG of the 8th USAAF with 519 enemy planes destroyed in the air and 287 on the

ground, with 119 losses of their own. All three squadrons painted noses of their Mustangs with blue colour. In September 1944, the paint

of the noses was changed from Medium Blue to the Dark Blue, which remained the Group´s color until end of the War. Note the light area

over the fuselage national insignia of the Stardust, which is clear natural metal surface after the washing of the invasion stripes on the upper

surfaces including the upper surfaces of the wings.

44-13316, Leonard K. Carson, 362nd FS, 357th FG, 8th AF, USAAF Station 373 Leiston,

Suffolk, Great Britain, June 1944

The second top scoring Fighter Group of the 8th USAAF and the top scoring FG equipped with P-51D Mustangs was 357nd FG, credited

with 609 German aircraft destroyed in the air and 106 on the ground, with their own losses of 128 aircraft. The unit had 35 aces, led by

Major Leonard „Kit“ Carson with 18½ aerial victories. He became 362nd FS CO on April 8th, 1945. The key to the success of the unit was its

fighting academy, called Clobber College, where the experienced pilots taught the newcomers the fighting tactics. The 362nd FS received

their P-51Ds just a few days before D-day. Most of the unit´s early Mustangs had upper surfaces camouflaged Dark Green with Neutral Grey

bottom surfaces, or Dark Green upper surfaces over the aluminium/natural metal bottom surfaces with narrow border between green and

NMF surfaces high on fuselage sides. The colors were probably RAF paints overtaken from RAF stock. The “Nooky Booky II” wears full D-day

stripes, as the aircraft was delivered to the unit probably around June 6th, 1944. The previous name of this plane was “Mildred”.

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INFO Eduard - January 2021