P-51K-5, 44-11622, Maj. Leonard Carson, 362nd FS, 357th FG, 8th AF, Leiston, United Kingdom, Autumn 1944
The second most successfull fighter group of the USAAF 8th AF and the most successful group equipped with P-51D and K
Mustangs was 357th FG. During the conflict the unit destroyed 609 German aircraft in the air and 109 on the ground losing 128 of
its own. 35 fighter aces served with 357th FG, Major Leonard Kyle Carson being the most accomplished one credited with 18.5
kills. Since January 1944 he served with 362nd FS and as of April 8, 1945 he became its commander. Secret of 357th FG success
was its tactical training center nicknamed „Clobber College“ (possibly referring to tedious and detail oriented shoe repairing job)
where the seasoned veterans passed their combat experience on the novice pilots. 362nd FS received its first P-51D only couple
of days before the invasion to Normandy. „Kit“ Carson named all his aircraft „Nooky Booky“. In this case it was the airplane nr. 4.
In the fall 1944 his aircraft sported eighteen kill markings in the form of the black swastikas in the red circle painted on the port
side of the fuselage. The fuselage rear part still carried the traces of the invasion stripes. The nose was decorated with red and
yellow checkerboard, spinner was in the same colors. Both were recognition markings of the 357th FG aircraft.
P-51K-5, 44-11661, Lt.Col. Jack J. Oberhansly, 334th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, Debden, United Kingdom, February 1945
Jack Junior Oberhansly was born on January 21, 1919 in the little town of Payson in Utah. He received his „wings“ on December
21, 1941 and after further training he was posted to 48th PS. In May 1942 he was ordered to 82nd FS wich was under the 78th FG
command and with this unit, in November 1942 he was deployed to the Great Britain. In April the unit converted from P-38 to
Thunderbolts with which it escorted 8th AF bombers on their missions over the occupied Europe. On August 7, 1943 Jack Oberhansly assumed the command of the 82nd FS and held this post until May 1944. From August 28 till December 3, 1944 he served
as deputy commander of the whole 78th FG. On December 4, 1944 he was posted to 4th FG where he served as a deputy commander until February 26, 1945. After the end of hostilities he continued his career in the Air Force. From 1946 till August 1948
he commanded the 191st FS of the Utah ANG. During the WWII he was credited with six kills, all while flying with 78th FG. Jack J.
Oberhansly passed away on September 6, 1982 in San Clemente, California. Oberhansly’s aircraft sported the nose painted in red
which was the 4th FG recognition marking, the red tails identified 334th FS airplanes.
P-51K-5, 44-11631, Lt. Huie Lamb, 82nd FS, 78th FG, 8th AF, Duxford, United Kingdom, March 1945
Native of Abilene, Texas, Huie Lamb, flew with 82nd FS since August 1944, first on Thunderbols and then, after the unit’s re-equippment in December 1944, on the Mustangs. Huie Lamb’s first combat mission on P-51 on December 29, 1944 ended up with the
involuntary „swimm“ in the Channel’s waves as a result of the radiator malfunction. He was rescued by the British Walrus whose
crew had been alerted by Lamb’s wingman John C. Childs. At the end of the war Lamb’s score stood at 2.5 enemy aircraft shot
down and three more destroyed on the ground. One of his aerial kills was Me 262 jet shot down on October 15, 1944. On March 19,
1945 he was credited with ½ kill of the Arado Ar 234 jet. Mustangs flown by Huie Lamb were named Etta Jeanne after his younger sister. The nose of his Etta Jeanne II (previous one ended up in the ocean) was decorated with 78th FG recognition markings
consisting of black and white checkerboard. P-51K Mustangs manufactured in Dallas, Texas left the production line equipped
with Aeroproducts propellers but Etta Jeanne II is demonstrably equipped with Hamilton Standard propeller.
INFO Eduard - September 2021