Lt. Richard Black with 44-13535 MC-R “Black’s Bird”
in late 1944. (Peter Randall collection)
44-13535 MC-R “Black’s Bird” in late 1944 showing
the newly applied piano keys identification markings
of the 20th Fighter Group.
(Peter Randall collection)
after the 1941 Glen Miller hit and his hometown.
In October 1944 the song was included on
a V-Disc record released by the War Department
and sent free to overseas military personnel which
meant it would have been a familiar sound around
US airfields in early 1945.
44-13535 MC-R “Chattanooga Choo Choo” at Station 367: King’s Cliffe.
Lt. Pogue’s second mission in “Chattanooga
Choo Choo” on the 20th February resulted
in more combat success for 44-13535. The
20th Fighter Group was directed to attack rail
traffic found in the area of Nuremburg. Arriving
at 11:50 the group split and looked for targets on
the four main rail lines leading from Nuremburg.
The 79th Fighter Squadron report states “After
our squadron had strafed transportation targets
in the area Lt. Jones, leading Blue Flight, sighted
an airfield on which there were approximately
35 He111s, 8 Me110s, 1 Me410, 1 Me109 and
1 Fw190. The airfield was strafed from 12:35
until 12:45. Blue Flight led by Lt. Jones made
two passes, Red Flight led by Capt. Hollins made
three passes, Yellow Flight led by Capt. Kies made
two passes and White Flight led by Major Meyer
made two passes. Light flak was encountered
coming from the woods north west of the airfield.
It was moderate and inaccurate. Capt. Kies was
wounded in the right leg by a single .30 cal projectile.
Planes were dispersed and an attempt had been
made to camouflage them by covering them with
boughs from trees and mesh netting”. Lt Pogue
expended 530 rounds and claimed two He111s
destroyed. The 79th Fighter Squadron claimed
22 aircraft destroyed and a further 15 damaged
in this ten minute attack.
The pace of operations at this time can be seen
by the fact that next claim made in “Chattanooga
Choo Choo” was 52 days after the 20th February
mission. In those 52 days 44-13535 flew 40
missions. The mission of 13th April was to escort
Bombers attacking railroad yards east of Hamburg.
INFO Eduard - August 2019