P-51s of the 20th Fighter Group during the Frantic VI Mission on 11th September 1944. 44-13535 “Wilma” can be seen nearest the camera.

ber was one of the most intense days in the air war over Europe

but the 20th Fighter Group and their bombers didn’t see any

German Fighters. The group landed at Piryatin airfield six and

half hours after take-off. Lt Horst became separated from the rest

of the 79th Fighter Squadron and was unable to locate Piryatin.

He eventually force landed in Poland having spent over nine

hours in the air, which was a new record for a single engine fighter

on a combat mission. 44-13535 was flown on this mission by

Lt Roark who was promoted to Captain two days later. On the

13th September the bombers left Soviet territory, escorted by the

20th Fighter Group, and attacked targets at Miscolcz in Hungary.

Escorting the bombers as far as Adriatic Coast of Yugoslavia the

fighters landed at three airfields near Foggia in Italy. The next three

days were spent enjoying wine, beer, bourbon and Coca Cola as

well as visiting Foggia and swimming in the Adriatic Sea. The last

leg of the mission was considered a non-operational flight as they

returned over France to the UK.

Newly promoted Captain Roark completed his tour and returned

to the USA at the end of September. 44-13535 was flown

by a number of different pilots. It was during this period that

Lt. Walter Bullers claimed a He115 floatplane destroyed. Spotting

a number of enemy seaplanes moored on a lake near Berg

Dievenow the group attacked. Red flight destroyed four He115s

before Blue flight, including Lt. Buller in 44-13535, destroyed

a further two.

Lt. Clyde Dixon who claimed an unidentified

German aircraft as damaged whilst flying

44-13535 “Wilma” on 10th September 1944.



INFO Eduard - August 2019