The 79th Fighter Squadron then attacked airfields across the
Jutland Peninsular. Two passes were made over the airfield at Jagel.
Lt. Pogue claimed an Me109 damaged on the second pass.
A further landing strip near Hutzfeld was also attacked with
Lt. Pogue claiming to have damaged a He177. These were the
last claims made by a pilot flying 44-13535. The aircraft would fly
another six missions with the last on one 21st April. The 20th Fighter
Group flew one further mission on 25th April but “Chattanooga
Choo Choo” wasn’t scheduled to fly. By this point there were few
worthwhile targets left in the little that remained of the Third Reich’s
territory. Thirteen days later the Germans surrendered and the war
in Europe was over.
44-13535 had flown 107 combat missions to targets all across
occupied Europe, had visited the Soviet Union and Italy, had been
flown operationally by 35 different pilots and was responsible for
the destruction of five enemy aircraft and damaging a further four.
As the war in Europe became a memory and the world returned
to some form of normality a huge number of combat aircraft were
scrapped. Having an illustrious war time record was not reason
enough to keep an aircraft and on 21st August 1945 44-13535 was
recorded as having been scrapped, probably at RAF Speke.
P-51D-5-NA, s/n 44-13535
Lt. Edward F. Pogue, 79th FS,
20th FG, Kings Cliffe, United Kingdom,
Lt. Edwin Pogue with his ground crew and other personnel sat on 44-13535 MC-R “Chattanooga Choo Choo”.
INFO Eduard - August 2019