KITS 07/2022

P-51D-5, 44-13261, Col. Marion Malcolm, CO of 52nd FG, 15th AF,

Madna, Italy, April 1945

The 52nd FG path to the Mediterranean battlefields

was similar to the path of its sister 31st FG. Also, the

pilots’ training was conducted on P-39 and P-40 aircraft followed by the transfer to Great Britain where

the pilots flew Spitfires Mk.V. They fought with this

type during the landings in Africa, Sicily and Italy.

In April 1944 the re-equipment to the Mustangs took

place and the unit was transferred under the 15th AF

command. The type of missions changed as well. The

52nd FG pilots were to continue flying escorts for the

four engine bombers on their raids over the occupied

territories, Germany and her Allies. Marion Malcolm

assumed command of the 52nd FG on August 27,

1944, and led the unit until the end of WWII. At the

end of his tenure with 52nd FG, until his return to

the USA in August 1945 he flew his personal aircraft

nicknamed Queen Marjorie.

P-51D-5, 44-13428, Lt. John B. Lawler, 2nd FS, 52nd FG, 15th AF,

Madna, Italy, July 1944

Because during the escort missions of the four-engined bombers the friendly fire on the escorting

fighters took place often, the 52nd Fighter Group

Mustangs carried for easier friend-foe recognition

the yellow band around the fuselage in front of the

tail surfaces. Later the whole tail was painted yellow. Sporting the yellow band at the end of July, the

photographer captured the aircraft of Norfolk, Virginia native Lt. Lawler who on July 25, 1944, scored his

10th and 11th kill as documented by the kill marks

under the canopy. John Barry Lawler christened his

Mustang Candy II. His previous Mustang P-51C carried

the name Candy. There is an Albert Vargas’ pin-up

girl drawing glued next to the vertical surface code


P-51D-5, 44-13287, Lt. William Parent, 4th FS, 52nd FG, 15th AF,

Madna, Italy, August 1944

On September 1, 1944, a flight by Maj. Wyatt P. Exum

made this aircraft famous. Returning from the mission to Hungary this pilot landed near Lt. Charles Wilson’s Mustang who had to make the emergency lan-


INFO Eduard

ding due to the damage sustained during the attack

on the train. He took the unhurt pilot into the cockpit

and together they flew 400 miles back to the Madna

airport. William Parents’ Mustang sported the whole

tailplanes painted in yellow, on the port it carried the

inscription Pendaja and Miss Ruth on the starboard.

July 2022