P-51D-15, 44-15041, flown by Lt Col. John C. Meyer, 352nd FG, 8th AF, Y-29 Asch, Belgium, December 1944
Brooklyn native John Charles Meyer finished flight training on July 26th, 1940 at the age of 21, after which he was assigned to the 33rd PS on Iceland, a unit that was
tasked with convoy escort duties, flying the P-40. After his return to the States, he was named the CO of the newly formed 487th FS, which had undergone conversion training onto the P-47 and in June 1943 was transferred to United Kingdom, from where they performed escort missions for four engined heavy bombers
over continental Europe. In April of 1944, the unit was rearmed with the Mustang, and the number of kills attributed to Major Meyer began to rise. In November 1944,
he was named Deputy Commander of the 352nd FG, to which his own 487th FS was subordinate. Under his command, the 352nd FG was relocated to the forward
base at Asch in Belgium. On January 1st, the Luftwaffe conducted a raid on this base, and Meyer was able to get his unit in the air to counter the raid, claiming
a pair of Fw 190s in the process. These would be the last two kills that he would achieve during the war, because on January 4th, he suffered a major fracture of
his left leg, the treatment of which required his return to the United States. After the war, John Mayer remained in the military, and took part in combat in Korea,
and in Vietnam he led the Linebacker II campaign. Over the course of the Second World War, he shot down 24 enemy aircraft, and he
added another two during the Korean War. He retired a General as the head of the Strategic Air Command.
He passed away as the result of a heart attack on December 2nd, 1975.
P-51D-15, 44-15459, flown by Capt. John J. Voll, CO of 308th FS, 31st FG, 15th AF, San Severo, Italy, November 1944
John James Voll was born on May 3rd, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he joined the Air Corps Reserve in 1942. He began his flight training on March 8th, 1943, and after its completion, he was assigned to the 308th Fighter Squadron in May 1944, tasked with escorting
four engined heavies from bases in Italy. During these missions, he was able to down 21 enemy aircraft, and in doing so, he claimed
third spot in terms of Mustang kills and became an ace with the highest number of kills in the Mediterranean theatre. He left the
military after the war and taught at a highschool in Goshen, which was also his Alma mater. He was recalled to the military in 1948,
and he remained with the Air Force until his retirement on July 31st, 1974. He died on September 12th, 1987.
P-51D-10, 44-14221, flown by Maj. Pierce W. McKennon, CO of 335th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, Debden, United Kingdom, April 1945
Future Second World War twelve kill ace Pierce Winnigham McKennon was born on November 30th, 1919 in Clarksville, Arkansas.
Although his ability to play the piano awarded him a scholarship at the University of Arkansas, he did not complete those studies
and in 1941, he neterred the USAAF with the wish to be a fighter pilot. After two months, however, he was let go due to his nausea,
but he refused to let go of his dream. He joined the RCAF, where he finished his training and was assigned to an Operational Training Unit in Europe. He was reintegrated into the USAAF on February 22nd, 1943 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, and was assigned
to the 335th FS, armed with the P-47, which were later replaced by the phenomenal Mustang. He was not only an excellent pilot,
but due to the piano playing skills, was also a regular invitee to social functions. His final sortie came about during a squadron-wide raid on an air bases around Prague, when his aircraft was hit in the canopy, and a piece of Plexiglass
narrowly missed his eye. After the war, he remained with the Air Force, serving as an instructor.
He was killed on June 18th, 1947, together with a student pilot in an AT-6D near San Antonio, Texas.
INFO Eduard - FEBRUARY 2022