B-17G Flying Fortresses of the 490th Bomb Group. The identifying markings of this unit were red vertical tail surfaces
and longitudinal wing bands.
The escort duty of this lonely 352nd FG Flight was officially fulfilled on the return trip after the crossing of the Rhine
at 1345h at Sankt Goar. Although most of the members of the
group came back individually, in pairs or in Flights, the official
end time of the mission with the return to Bodney was recorded
a 1430h, giving it a time span of 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Although Fowler’s ‘Stardust’ brought John C. Meyer luck, he
was glad to see his old airplane again. He did not, however, gain
any more kills flying ‘Petie 2nd’. His next successful day came
on November 21, 1944, when he would down three Fw 190s
near Merseburg. That was while flying ‘Petie 3rd’, s/n 44-15041.
Through to the end of the war, John C Meyer would accumulate
24 kills, making him the fourth most successful USAAF pilot in
Fowler’s ‘Stardust’ was reassigned to Lt. Jack C. Landrum,
who renamed the P-51 ‘Moose’. On October 24th, 1944, during
a ground attack mission at Wildeshausen, he was brought down
by flak and killed.
US National Archives and Record Admistration
Day of the Fighter Aces
For the given time frame, the unusual frequency of clashes
between American and Luftwaffe aircraft on September 11th,
1944, gave rise to, among other things, the emergence or prosperity of several American fighter aces. Many pilots achieved
two or more kills on that date. There were three confirmed
kills credited to Lt. James H. Forga (352nd FG), Lt. Earl W.
Fryer (55th FG), Lt. Donald E. McClish and Lt. Ethelbert M.
Graham (both 339th FG), Lt. Henry W. Brown (355th FG),
Capt. Benjamin H. King and Cyril W. Jones (both 359th FG)
and Lt. William F. Rilson (364th FG). And, not to be outdone,
there was a pair of pilots that would be credited with four
confirmed kills. They were Lt. Frank R. Gerard (339th FG) and
Lt. John C. Meyer of the 352nd FG.
Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell, Alabama
Museum of Air Battle over the Ore Mountains on September
11th, 1944, Kovarska, Czech Republic
352nd Fighter Group Association
Peter Randall Archive, Little Friends project
Fold3 Archives; www.fold3.com
American Air Museum in Britain; Roger Freeman collection
Title artwork by Piotr Forkasiewicz