BGen Jesse Auton, Gen Eisenhower, LGen Carl Spaatz, MGen James Doolittle, MGen William E Kepner, Col Donald M Blakeslee, Apr 11 1944. VIPs were present for the presentation of the Distinguished Service Cross to Col. Blakeslee, Debden Airfield, England. (US National Archives)
Gentile in the cockpit of his P-51B. After downing 3 planes on April 8, he was the top scoring 8th Air Force ace when he crashed "Shangri La", on April 13, 1944 while stunting over the 4th FG's airfield at Debden for a group of assembled press reporters and movie cameras. His CO, Blakeslee, immediately grounded Gentile as a result, and he was sent back to the US for a tour selling war bonds. ,
Ralph"Kidd"Hofer a athlete and Golden Gloves boxer volunteered for service in the RCAF before USA entered the war."Kidd" was also one of the top strafers in the 8th Air Force with 15 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground. Hofer got his last air-to-air kill on May 28, 1944 8th Air Force On a mission to Budapest, Hungary Kidd went missing in the huge air battle over the capitol city. Hofer, flying a borrowed airplane, was last seen as his squadron was being attacked by a superior force Me 109s.
operationbarbarossa: Lt. Bob “Punchy” Powell sits on the wing of his P-51B Mustang the West “By Gawd” Virginian. Powell was one of the top P-51 scoring aces of the 352nd Fighter Group of the Eighth US Air Force in the European Theater of Operations during WWII.
P-51D “Mustang” E2-C ‘Lou IV’, flown by Col. Thomas J. J. Christian, Jr. (KIA 12.08.1944), CO of 361st FG, 375th FS, 8th U.S.A.A.F., passes by a B-17 “Flying Fortress” camera ship from 91st Bomb Group near Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, UK. 26 July 1944
07 Apr 45: "Sonderkommando Elbe" sends 180 German Bf-109s to attack Allied bombers with the intent of ramming into them, aiming for either the tail, engines or cockpit, bailing out either before or after collision. While only 15 Allied bombers are attacked in this manner, eight are successfully destroyed. Most of the German pilots died, without inflicting the harm to the relentless Allied bombing campaign that had been hoped. #WWII #History