44-13535, Lt. Edward F. Pogue, 79th FS, 20th FG, Kings Cliffe, United Kingdom, 1945
‚Pardon me, boy, is that the Chatanooga Choo Choo...?‘ was very often heard throughout the forties in dance halls in the United States and England, especially on bases
of the USAAF. Mustang MC-R, with the aircraft letter underlined, was flown by Lt. E.F.
‚Pogie‘ Pogue at the end of 1944, and already had a long and rich service career behind her that saw a list of 20th FG pilots in the cockpit. The aircraft carried names like
‚Black’s Bird‘ and ‚Wilma‘, but it was under the name of ‚Chatanooga Choo Choo‘ that
the airplane made her mark, a name taken from the popular song by Mack Gordon
and Harry Warren and made famous by Glenn Miller.
As the names of the plane changed, so did its appearance. The original 20th FG markings consisting of black and white stripes on the nose behind the spinner were later
supplemented by vertical black and white bands, the 20th Fighter Group identifier.
The black square on the tail indicated service with the 79th Fighter Squadron. The
application of the invasion stripes also went through an evolution. During the course
of its service career, the aircraft received the wing fillet that became typical of later
block P-51Ds, although as of the end of summer, 1944, the aircraft is documented
with the original tail. Later on, the serial number of the aircraft also made a return on
the fin and rudder. The illustration here captures the look of the aircraft as it appeared
in the spring of 1945, by then carrying the name ‚Chatanooga Choo Choo‘ on the left
side and ‚V-2‘ on the right. By this time, the invasion stripes had been removed, and so
were the ETO quick identification markings. The underlined individual aircraft letter
indicated that, at the time, there was already an airframe coded MC-R flying. During
this period, it was flown almost exclusively by Lt. Pogue and according to available
sources, was used in achieving all of his victories on the ground, six destroyed and
four confirmed damaged. Lt. Pogue’s most successful combat mission came on April
10th, 1945, when he destroyed three He 111s and a Bf 109, while damaging another
of each. After the end of the Second World War, Lt. Pogue piloted F-80s in Japan and
later flew F-84s during the Korean War. He ended his career as a Lt. Colonel. For his
outstanding service, he received nine Air Medals and two DFCs, among others.
INFO Eduard - August 2019