KITS 12/2019


P-51D-5, 44-13693, 2nd Lt. Bruce W. Carr, 353rd FS, 354th FG, 9th AF, Orconte, France,

October 1944

Bruce W. Carr started his pilot training on September 2nd, 1942. After its completion on August 30th,

1943, he added to his qualification ratings on A-36 and P-51A and after that he was dispatched to

380th FS. On March 8th, 1944 he recorded his first victory and consequently was re-assigned to 353rd

FS becoming one of the 354th Fighter Group aces. On November 2nd, 1944 during the fighter sweep

over the occupied Czechoslovakia his aircraft was hit by the anti aircraft fire. Bruce Carr bailed out and

after landing undetected penetrated the Luftwaffe airbase where he was able to capture Fw 190A-6

fighter and return with it to his home base in Orconte. During the World War Two he was credited with 15

enemy aircraft shot down. He continued with his aviation career after the war, flew combat in Korea and

Vietnam as well. He passed away in April 1998 in Florida.

353rd FS aircraft noses and spinners were painted yellow with added black triangles on the engine

cowling. As the majority of fighter pilots Capt. Bruce Carr too had his score painted under the windshield

in the form of small swastikas.

P-51D-5, 44-13561, Maj. Richard E. Turner, 356th FS, 354th FG, 9th AF,

Orconte, France, September 1944

The birth of 354th Fighter Group is dated November 12th, 1942, when it was formed at Hamilton Field

airport in California. After the initial hassle and bustle the training started on P-39 aircraft. After its transfer to Europe in November 1943 the 354th FG personnel was informed about the incorporation into the

9th Air Force fighter groups and at the same time about the re-equipment with P-51B Mustangs. Among

all fighter groups fighting in the European Theater during the World War Two, 354th FG pilots achieved

the highest number of enemy aircraft shot down (701 kills).

356th Fighter Squadron machines proudly carried the black noses with white stars. Maj. Turner had the

nose of his Mustang decorated with the inscription which appears on the other aircraft he flew, sometimes

slightly modified. The fuselage side of his aircraft is marked with symbols of his victories over the enemy.

INFO Eduard - December 2019