460th Bombardment Group

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It’s always fun to browse thrift stores for bargains; never know what you might find. The patches seen here illustrate that point: They were glued to a cheap imitation leather flight jacket that was priced $4.99. Alas, there was no name on the jacket – it no doubt belonged to a veteran who wore it to reunions and such. He would have flown the B-24’s of the 460th from their bases in Italy (the patches are Italian made). But the patches live on, and those mementos of a veteran’s service have been saved for all time.

Lightning Strikes: F-5’s & P-38’s

Webp.net-resizeimage (8)F-5 42-13095 of the 12th Photo Recon Squadron zooms in for landing at its base in Italy. This aircraft carried three names: “Shark” on the nose. “Louise” on the left engine nacelle, “Vera” on the right.Webp.net-resizeimage (6)Webp.net-resizeimage (7)Two shots of “Anna” landing in Italy. Note the local civilian onlookers. Webp.net-resizeimage (9)F-5 “Hoppy” flares for landing.Webp.net-resizeimage (1)Webp.net-resizeimage (4)F-5F 44-26045 was transferred to the Chinese Air Force. The same thing happened to the B-24 in the background, 44-42270. Perhaps all of the aircraft pictured were similarly transferred (?)Webp.net-resizeimageP-38J 44-25605 was modified to a personal transport for General George Stratemeyer. Perched in the Plexiglas nose, he had the best seat in the house.Webp.net-resizeimage (5)Webp.net-resizeimage (2)Webp.net-resizeimage (3)Early P-38’s. Marvelous aircraft.

B-26 Marauder, “Hell Cat”

41-17903.jpgJuly, 1943. Fresh from the sands of North Africa where it served with the 17th Bomb Group, “Hell Cat”, a B-26B (41-17903), had just completed 50 missions and was on a War Bond tour when she was captured for posterity. Of course, a very pretty young lady “happened” to stop for a look. The navigator of this bird was Hank Potter, one of the Doolittle Raiders.