F-6D-15, 44-14874, flown by Lt. John E. Jacoby, 82nd TRS,
71st TRG, 5th AF, Johnson Field, Japan, September 1945
Since November 1944, 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, within 71st TRG, participated in reconnaissance missions over Philippines island
of Luzon, ground units’ support, photographing and bombing of the airports on Formosa and China. Its next base became the island of Ie shima from
where they were flying sorties over the Japanese island of Kyushu. Since the deployment over the Philippines until the middle of June 1945 the unit
was commanded by Capt. William Shomo, probably the most famous F-6D pilot. At the end of hostilities, the unit was transferred to Irumagawa airbase
on the Tokyo outskirts.
The squadron deployed aircraft nr.54 from the very beginning of the combat on Philippines and she remained in the unit inventory even after the
end of War and served as a part of occupying forces on Japanese territory. The aircraft appearance during its service changed significantly. At the
beginning of its service the aircraft carried only number 54 on the vertical tail surface, later the black stripes were added to the fuselage and wings,
anti-glare panel was repainted black and the propeller spinner sported several versions of the coloration. Inscriptions on fthe fuselage nose are also
documented in two different layouts. There is an 82nd TRS marking on the port side of the fuselage, most probably applied after the end of War.
F-6D-10, 44-14699, flown by Lt. Clifford S. Slonneger,
109th TRS, 67th TRG, 9th AF, Gosselies, Belgium, 1945
67th TRG history begins in September 1941 when it was formed in Louisiana as the Observation Group and its first task were anti-submarine patrols
alongside the United States East Coast which it carried out until March 1942. Transfer to the Great Britain followed in August 1942, where the training
continued. In October 1943 it was ordered under the 9th Air Force command, renamed to 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and 107th and 109th
TRS under its command were equipped with F-6 Mustang. 109th TRS, in which ranks Lt. Slonneger flew 54 missions, operated this type on photo-reconnaissance sorties until the end of hostilities. After the War, the unit was transferred back to the United States in August 1945 and disbanded in
March the following year. F-6D from this unit often had the oval window on the side of the fuselage covered. It is highly probable that it was the case
of the aircraft named Shady Lady.
F-6K-10, 44-12223, 118th TRS, 23rd FG, 14th AF,
Chengkung, China, 1945
118th Squadron was activated in March 1941 at Jacksonville airbase in Florida from where it flew anti-submarine sorties. In August 1942 it was
relieved from these duties and started the preparations for the overseas service. In August 1943 it was redesignated to 118th TRS, its was assigned
to China-Burma-India Theatre for which specifics it was being prepared the following year. At the beginning of the year the unit was transferred from
the USA to India. Between May and June 1944 the unit supported the ground units, attacked the traffic centers, warehouses, troops gathering points,
airports, and other ground targets. Initially the unit was equipped with P-40s, later it received P-51Ds including several reconnaissance F-6. 118th TRS
aircraft recognition marking was black lightning outlined in yellow painted on the sides of the P-51 fuselage. In smaller size these markings were also
applied on the wing tips, vertical and horizontal tail surfaces. The aircraft christened SNOOPER carried the lightnings on the fuselage sides only, the
rest of the marking was not applied.
INFO Eduard - November 2020