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357th Fighter Group
357th Fighter Group
357th Fighter Group Artwork
Head for Home by Anthony Saunders. (APB)
Eagles Return by Richard Taylor.
Last Man Home by Nicolas Trudgian.
Winter of 45 by Philip West.
American Eagles by Robert Taylor.
Hot Pursuit by Nicolas Trudgian. (B)
The Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor.
American Patrol by Michael Turner.
Warm Winters Welcome by Nicolas Trudgian.
Struggle for Supremacy by Robert Taylor.
|Aces for : 357th Fighter Group|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|Leonard K Carson||18.50||The signature of Leonard K Carson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Robert W Foy||17.00|
|Clarence E Bud Anderson||16.25||The signature of Clarence E Bud Anderson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Richard A Peterson||15.50||The signature of Richard A Peterson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Donald H Bochkay||14.83|
|Charles E Yeager||11.50||The signature of Charles E Yeager features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|John A Kirla||11.50||The signature of John A Kirla features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Thomas Lloyd Hayes Jr||8.50||The signature of Thomas Lloyd Hayes Jr features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Charles Elon Weaver||8.00||The signature of Charles Elon Weaver features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Dale Ernest Karger||7.50||The signature of Dale Ernest Karger features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Arval J Roberson||6.00||The signature of Arval J Roberson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Robert G Schimanski||6.00||The signature of Robert G Schimanski features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Frank L Gailer Jr||5.50||The signature of Frank L Gailer Jr features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Robert Paul Winks||5.50||The signature of Robert Paul Winks features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|William R OBrien||5.50||The signature of William R OBrien features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Aircraft for : 357th Fighter Group|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by 357th Fighter Group. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Bell
In early 1937, Bell Aircraft presented a revolutionary fighter design to the USAAC, the P-39 Airacobra. Incorporating machine guns and the most powerful cannon available, the new design by Robert Woods, utilized many revolutionary design features. The all-metal, low wing, monoplane design utilized a centrally located engine in the fuselage, a feature which enhanced maneuverability. A nine foot shaft ran through the cockpit to drive the propeller. Woods design was the first fighter to incorporate a forward tricycle landing gear, which gave the P-39 pilot great visibility while on the ground. The first prototype flew in 1938. Equipped with a supercharged Allison water-cooled V-12 rated at 1,150-HP, the prototype performed admirably. It exhibited a top speed of 390-MPH, and an amazingly quick rate of climb. Unfortunately for the Airacobra, the USAAC decided to eliminate the supercharged engine from the project, a move which would relegate the Airacobra to the distinction of being Americas forgotten fighter of WW II.
Manufacturer : North American
The ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
|Signatures for : 357th Fighter Group|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Colonel C E Bud Anderson
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| Colonel C E Bud Anderson |
Bud Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Eighth Air Force Group to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang. He got himself on the score sheet on one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s who had set upon a straggling B-17. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two more Fw190s. After a short rest in the U.S., Bud returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th's big day on 27th November 1944. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. He finished the war with 16 air victories and many more probables.
First Lieutenant Joseph Black
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| First Lieutenant Joseph Black |
Joe Black joined up in November 1942, arriving in England to join the 357th Fighter Group. Flying with the 362nd Fighter Squadron, he flew the first of his 28 combat missions on 1st February 1945, and participated in a massive escort raid to Berlin escorting B17s for his second. Joe served with the 362nd right up until the end of hostilities in Europe, leaving the service early in 1946.
Leonard Kit Carson
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| Leonard Kit Carson |
Leonard 'Kit' Carson with 18.5 victories was the top ace of the 357th Fighter Group. His first victory was on April 8th 1944. He scored all his 18.5 victories flying five mustangs all named Nooky Booky. Kit Carson went onto to run the 357th's combat training school or Clobber College. Captain Leonard K. Kit Carson, on the 38th mission of his second tour and having nine previous credits, became the second 357th pilot to become an ace in a day. He was squadron commander between 8 April 1945–1 November 1945.
First Lieutenant Raymond T Conlin
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| First Lieutenant Raymond T Conlin |
'Ted' Conlin joined the service in July 1942, arriving in england in March 1944 to join the 362nd Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, flying P-51s. He flew the first of his combat missions on 13th May 1944, and the next few weeks saw much activity in the build up to D-Day. In September he took part in the air operations in support of Market Garden, the airborne landings in Holland around Arnhem and Nijmegen, and also escort on the 'Russian Shuttle' missions. He finished his combat tour in November 1944.
Lieutenant Colonel William W Foard
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| Lieutenant Colonel William W Foard |
27th February 1943 saw Bill Foard join the service and commence his pilot training, gaining his pilots wings, after which he was posted to the Eighth Air Force in England. Joining the 357th Fighter Group flying P51D Mustangs with the 364 Fighter Squadron based at Leiston in Suffolk, East Anglia, Bill flew his first combat mission on 21st February 1945. He took part in all of the Squadrons main escort raids and fighter actions during the final phase of the air war, until the end of hostilities.
Brigadier General Frank L. Gailer
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| Brigadier General Frank L. Gailer |
General Gailer was born in Bakersfield, Calif., in 1923. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to New York, finally settling in Great Neck, Long Island. He graduated from Staunton Military Academy, Staunton, Va., in 1941, and attended Hofstra College, Hempstead, N.Y., until June 1942. He then entered the aviation cadet program and received pilot training at Parks Air College, Garden City, Kan., and Eagle Pass, Texas, where he earned his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant. Frank Gailer was posted to England, joining the 357th Fighter Group at Leiston. Flying with the 363rd FS he went into combat in august, and in the next few months destroyed 6 enemy aircraft before being shot down in November 1944. Captured by the Germans, he was interned in Stalug I. After the war, in Vietnam, he commanded the 35th TFW at Phan Rang AB, flying over 500 hours combat on F-100s. In 1969 he returned to England once again, to command the 48th TW, and then as Vice-Commander of Third Air Force, USAF Europe.
Brigadier General Thomas L Hayes
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| Brigadier General Thomas L Hayes |
Thomas Hayes was born in Portland, Oregon. In his career he was credited with a total of 10.5 victories - 8 and a half of these were German and two Japanese. During 1942 he was based in the South Pacific, at Java. During this time he was shot down by a Japanese Zero fighter over the island of Bali. Later in the war he was sent to Britain as a Squadron Commander, flying P51 Mustangs with the 357th Fighter Group - the Yoxford Boys. On 6th March 1944 he led his squadron on one of the first successful daylight raids on Berlin, where twenty enemy aircraft were shot down by the squadron, with all aircraft of the 357th Fighter Group returning safely. In his career he was awarder the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart. Sadly, Thomas Hayes passed away on 24th July 2008, aged 91.
First Lieutenant Dale E Karger
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| First Lieutenant Dale E Karger |
Born in 1925, Dale Karger joined the Army Reserves and was commissioned a 2nd Lt, and rated a pilot in February 1944. He transferred to the 357th Fighter Group on 18th September 1944, scoring his first two victories on 5th December, both against Fw190s north of Berlin, followed by his first Me109 on 24th December. On 20th January he achieved Ace status when he notched up an Me262 jet north of Munich. Dale finished his tour with a tally of 7.5 victories, and was the third youngest American fighter Ace of World War II. Sadly, he passed away on 5th October 2008.
John A. Kirla
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| John A. Kirla |
Born in 1922, John Kirla joined the Army reserves and was commissioned a 2nd Lt and rated a pilot in January 1944. He transferred to the 357th Fighter Group on 12th July 1944, scoring his first victories on 13th September against Me109s south of Nordhausen. His victories continued to mount and on 24th December he achieved and passed Ace status when he notched up three Fw190s near Fulda. On 14th January he notched up four victories in a day on a mission northwest of Berlin, the last of his 11.5 victories of the war. Sadly, John Kirla passed away on 1st October 2011.
Captain Harvey Mace
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| Captain Harvey Mace |
Harvey Mace arrived in England at the end of 1943 to join the 357th Fighter Group who were then stationed at Raydon.He flew all his 59 combat missions in P51 Mustangs with the 362nd Fighter Squadron, notching up three victories over Me109s along the way. Flying primarily on B17 bomber escort missions, Harvey went to nearly all the major strategic bombing targets in Europe, including the Shuttle missions from England to Russia, Italy and back again.Towards the end of his tour he was appointed Squadron Operations Officer, and then assigned as Fighter Controller of the 3rd Bomb Group.
Major James McLane
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| Major James McLane |
Flew P-51 Mustangs with the 357th Fighter Group. James C. McLane Jr. left Clemson College in 1943 to join the Army Air Corp. He graduated in Class 44B at Marianna, Florida, being commissioned a 2nd Lt. Rated Pilot. He instructed Advanced Single Engine student pilots for two classes, and then at Punta Gorda in the Fighter Pilot Replacement Unit he received 6 months training in P-40 aircraft. Early in 1945 McLane was assigned to fly P-51s with the famed 357th fighter group, the “Yoxford Boys” stationed in Leiston England. He was placed in the 362nd fighter squadron led by 3 times ace Leonard K. “Kit” Carson. Initially he flew borrowed aircraft, but then was assigned G4-V, tail number 414798. This plane had seen lots of action, first as Master Mike and later as Butch Baby, the mount of Col. Joseph Broadhead and Lt. Julian H. Bertram respectively. The P-51 was stripped of paint and re-identified on the nose as Dainty Dotty in honor of his wife Dorothy. McLane flew bomber escort and experienced a memorable mission as Carson’s wingman hunting for ME-262’s. After the war, he flew C-123 and C-130 aircraft in the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Major.
Captain William Bee OBrien
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| Captain William Bee OBrien |
William O'Brien was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His father Terence O'Brien was an oil-field worker, and his mother, Agnes, was a nurse. Obee O'Brien graduated from Oklahoma Military Academy and trained as a pilot before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps service in 1942. He took flight training at Luke Field in Phoenix and in Nevada before arriving in England in late 1943. Willaim OBee O'Brien flew P-51 Mustangs with the 357th Fighter Group, scoring his first enemy plane on March 6th, 1944, during a bomber escort mission to Berlin. He flew 77 combat missions, most with the 363rd Fighter Squadron, and became an Ace, with 5 victories. During his service with the 357th Fighter Group's 363th Fighter Squadron of the 8th US Air Force, O'Brien also earned eight Air Medals, including Distinguished Flying Crosses and the French Croix de Guerre. The French decoration was a unit citation bestowed in recognition of the role of the 357th Fighter Group in the liberation of France. After the war, O'Brien earned bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Tulsa, becoming a geophysicist for Stabdard Oil Company. Sadly Captain William Bee O'Brien died on Sunday 5th March 2006 of heart problems. He was 84.
Captain William B. Overstreet
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| Captain William B. Overstreet |
Posted to England in November 1943 to join the 363rd fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group at Leiston Bill Overstreet flew his P51 combat mission on 12th February 1944. He commanded nearly 50 combat missions during his tour with the 357th FS, taking part in escorting the big raids to Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzeig and many other city targets as well as participating in escort missions to Russia from Italy. Shot down once he managed to escape to freedom after two days capacity. Returning stateside in October 1944.
Major Richard Bud Peterson
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| Major Richard Bud Peterson |
Bud Peterson was born in Hancock in 1923 and attended the University of Minnesota before joining the Army Reserve. He went through the cadet program and became a second lieutenant. He was sent to Europe to join the 357th Fighter Group. He scored his first victory in March 1944, bringing down an Fw190 in his P-51 Mustang. He eventually became the top scorer in 364th Fighter Squadron, with a final tally of 15.5 victories, and was the 10th Ace of the 357th Fighter Group. All his victories were scored in the P-51 Mustang, and he also scored 3.5 ground victories, and has the distinction of scoring victories over every piston-engined Luftwaffe aircraft flown in WWII. Peterson flew 150 missions over Europe. Major Richard Bud Peterson became a major at age 21, at the time the youngest person to achieve that rank in the Army Air Force. He would later be awarded the Air Medal, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Major Richard Bud Peterson also received the Croix de Guerre, one of France's highest honors for bravery. After the war he was selected as a staff officer to interview Adolf Galland, commander of the German Air Force fighter forces, on aerial combat tactics and strategy. He later pursued his architecture career and worked for such companies as Cerny Associates Inc. before co-founding Peterson, Clark & Griffith, Architects, in 1960. He was involved in the construction of many Twin Cities buildings and the Minnesota Zoo. Bud Peterson, died Sunday 4th of June 2000 of cancer at a Walker Methodist home in Minneapolis. He was 77.
Colonel Arval J. Roberson
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| Colonel Arval J. Roberson |
Joining the Army Reserves in 1942, ‘Robby’ Roberson was commissioned and rated a pilot in May 1943. Transferring to the 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, he flew 76 combat missions on P51s, sharing his first victory against an Me110 over Berlin on 6th March 1944. He became an Ace on 19th September, and scored his 6th and final air victory at the same time. During the Korean War he flew an additional 100 combat hours with the 18th FBG, and in Vietnam managed to get in 26 support missions on C47s. He retired in 1973. Arval Roberson passed away on 7th December 2007.
Lieutenant Colonel Don Ross
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| Lieutenant Colonel Don Ross |
Don Ross flew Spitfire Vbs with the second American Eagle Squadron, 121 Squadron. By the time the squadron transferred to the 357th Fighter Group in September 1942 he had already completed 72 combat sorties. Shot down in February 1944 he became a POW until May 1945. He flew combat in Korea, and then F-4 Phantoms in Vietnam.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Schimanski
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| Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Schimanski |
Born in Spokane, Washington in 1920, Bob Schimanski graduated as a fighter pilot, and was posted to join the 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group in England. During his tour of duty on P51s at Leiston, he flew 70 combat missions, getting on the score sheet with the first of his victories on 13th September 1944. He became an Ace on 2 Match 1945 when he downed a Me109 south of Magdeburg. By the end of his tour had achieved 6 air victories, all but one against Me109s, plus a further two on the ground.
First Lieutenant John Skara
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| First Lieutenant John Skara |
John Skara joined the service in June 1942. After training he was posted to England to join the 357th Fighter Group at Leiston in Suffolk, flying both the P51B and later the P51D. He undertook his first combat mission in March 1944, and took part in the long and hazardous escort missions both to Russia, and to Italy. For most of his combat tour he flew as wingman to Bud Anderson
Captain Charles E Weaver
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| Captain Charles E Weaver |
American WW2 pilot with eight victories, including : 19th Sep 1944, an Me109; 17th Nov 1944, 2 Fw190s; 23rd Dec 1944, an Me109; 14th January 1945, an Me109 and an Fw190; 24th Mar 1945, an Me109; 18th Apr 1945, an Me262. He died 19th November 2008.
Captain Robert P Winks
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| Captain Robert P Winks |
Robert Winks joined the service in 1943, and after training was posted to England. Flying his first combat mission in July 1944, he served with the 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group. His year long tour in Europe took in the heavy fighting over the Battle of the Bulge, the missions to support the Arnhem operations, and the Battle of Berlin, when the 357th destroyed 56 enemy aircraft. During this time he flew some 69 combat missions. His personal P-51D was 'Trusty Rusty'. His victories included an Me262 jet fighter claimed on 15th January 1945. Sadly, he died on 19th May 2008.
Brigadier General Charles E Yeager
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| Brigadier General Charles E Yeager |
Charles Yeager. Born February 13th 1923. He enlisted as a private in the United States Army. Chalres Yaeger became a aircraft mechanic at George Air Force Base in California. Yaeger showed a talent as a pilot and became a Flight Officer on March 10th 1943 and joined the 357th Fighter Group. He trained on the P-39 Airocobras and in November 1943 went to Britain with his Squadron. He was stationed at RAF Leiston and flew P 51 Mustangs, his aircraft being Glamoras Glen. His first air victory was on March 5th 1944 but he was shot down over France. With the help of the French Resistance he escaped through Spain and back to the UK. Chalres Yaeger was the first pilot in his group to become an ace in a day, by shooting down a total of 5 enemy aircraft in a single mission. In his total of 11.5 victories was one of the first Me262 jet fighter kills, claimed on 6th November 1944. After the war In 1947 at the age of only 24 Charles Yaeger became the first Pilot to travel faster than sound in level flight in the experimental Bell X-1 at 45,000 feet. In his career Yaeger commanded fighter squadrons in Germany and during the Vietnam war, being promoted to the rank of Bragadier General in 1969.
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