44-13316, flown by 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 8, 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 6, 1944. The previous name of this plane was “Mildred”.
44-13317, flown by 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 1, 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 9, 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 25, 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 2022