44-72505, Maj. William A. Shomo, 82nd TRS, 71st TRG, 5th AF, Lingayen, Luzon, The Philippines, May-June 1945
William Arthur Shomo was born on May 30, 1918, in Jeanette, Pennsylvania, and joined the USAAC (United States Army Air Corps)
in August 1941. After over a year of training, he was assigned to the 82nd TRS, flying the P-39 and P-40, with which he made
his way to New Guinea. On October 1, 1944, the unit was moved to the airfield at Morotai, located in the Maluku Islands. There,
conversion training onto the F-6D was undertaken. On December 24, 1944, Captain Shomo was named Commanding Officer of
the squadron, and the unit was transferred to Mindoro in the Philippines. January 11, 1945, became the most famous day of his
career, when he downed seven Japanese aircraft, while his wingman Paul Lipscomb, got another three during the same mission.
On June 17,1945, he passed his command on to Capt. Harlan White and returned to the United States. The end of the war did
not signal the end of his career in the USAAF, and he didn’t retire until 1968 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. William Shomo
passed away on June 25, 1990, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
44-72099, Lt. Warren S. Blodgett, 84th FS, 78th FG, 8th AF, RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, Great Britain,
Warren Stephen Blodgett was born on January 12, 1924, in Cabot, Vermont. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1941, and after pilot
training, his next steps led him to the United Kingdom to the 84th FS to which he was assigned on November 10, 1944. Along with
82nd FS and 83rd FS, the 84th FS was part of the famous 78th FG, flying P-47s until December 1944 when they changed their
Thunderbolts for Mustangs. During the World War II, Lt. Blodgett destroyed five enemy aircraft on the ground. First one was a Bf
110 at the Lüneburg airfield on March 3, 1945. On April 16, 1945, he destroyed four other Luftwaffe aircraft at the Prague-Čakovice
airfield. After the war he remained in the air force, where he served 27 years and kept flying for another 15 years as a corporate
pilot. Blodgett retired in 1984 and died on August 27, 2014, in Montgomery, Vermont. The distinguishing marking of the 78th FG
Mustangs was the checkerboard paint on the noses of their Mustangs. The black rudder marked the 84th FS aircraft.
INFO Eduard - November 2021