Spitfire Mk.Vb, BL255, Lt. Dominic S. Gentile, 336th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, Debden, Essex,

United Kingdom, August 1942

The third and last Eagle squadron, 133rd formed in July 1941 at RAF airbase Coltishall, was in 1942 the first American squadron re-equipped

with Spitfires Mk.IX. However, the unit lost its twelve „Nines“ in only three days before Eagle squadron was transferred under the USAAF

command, during the B-17 escort over Morlaix. After its inclusion into 8th AF USAAF on September 29, 1942, it continued flying the good old

Spitfires Mk.Vb as it was transformed from No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron RAF into 336th FS, 4th FG. The BL255 Spitfire, nicknamed “Buckeye Don”,

was the personal aircraft of Don Gentile, the future most successful fighter pilot of the 8th AF with 19 kills, 3 damaged and 6 on the ground

destroyed enemy aircraft. He was credited with two more kills during the combat over Dieppe on August 19, 1942, while he was still serving

with RAF. The same nose art as on BL255 was later sported on the famous P-51B Shangri La and it was also

incorporated into 334th FS insignia.

INFO Eduard - September 2021