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363rd Fighter Squadron

Founded :
Country : US
Fate :

363rd Fighter Squadron

363rd Fighter Squadron Artwork


P51D Mustangs, January 1945 by Barry Price.

Struggle for Supremacy by Robert Taylor.

Aces for : 363rd Fighter Squadron
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.
NameVictoriesInfo
Donald H Bochkay14.83
Charles E Yeager11.50The signature of Charles E Yeager features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Frank L Gailer Jr5.50The signature of Frank L Gailer Jr features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
William R OBrien5.50The signature of William R OBrien features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Aircraft for : 363rd Fighter Squadron
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by 363rd Fighter Squadron. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Mustang



Click the name above to see prints featuring Mustang aircraft.

Manufacturer : North American

Mustang

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 : 363rd Fighter Squadron
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo

Brigadier General Frank L. Gailer
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Brigadier General Frank L. Gailer
25 / 3 / 2009Ace : 5.50 Victories
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.




Captain William Bee OBrien
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Captain William Bee OBrien

5 / 3 / 2006Died : 5 / 3 / 2006
5 / 3 / 2006Ace : 5.50 Victories
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
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Captain William B. Overstreet
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.



Brigadier General Charles E Yeager
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Brigadier General Charles E Yeager
5 / 3 / 2006Ace : 11.50 Victories
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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It was during the inter-war period that a reawakening interest in twin engined fighter design prompted several countries to investigate a number of revolutionary concepts, of these only the Lockheeds sleek and unconventional P.38 was to be put into large scale production, proving to be a versatile and dominant fighter possessed of extremely long range, good speed and manoeuverability and a formidable armament. When production ceased in 1945, 9,923 examples of the P38 Lightning had been delivered.

Fork Tailed Devil (Lightning) by Ivan Berryman
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Lancaster CF-X (LM384) of 625 Squadron.  On the Leipzig raid on the evening of 19th/20th February 1944 approx 47 Lancasters were shot down or failed to return, that is over 300 airmen.  Lancaster CF-X (LM384) was taking part in the bombing raids that were a build up to the D-Day landings of June 1944.  Leipzig was seen as a high value target due to its oil and synthetic fuel production.  The Lancaster took off from Kelstern in Lincolnshire just before midnight.  Unfortunately LM384 did not come back as was the case with many others - the aircraft was lost and crashed just outside the tiny village of Bledeln in Germany.  The Pastor of the village, Herr Duncker, kept a diary throughout the war and has an account of the plane crash and the subsequent burial of the crew.  All of the crew died in the crash except one - bomb aimer George Paterson who was interned in Stalag 357 Kopernikus.  The rest of the crew were given a Christian burial and stayed there until the end of the war, when the war graves commission disinterred the crew and reburied them in the Hannover war cemetery.

Last Long Shadow by Anthony Saunders.
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The last purely British fighter aircraft to be used by the Royal Air Force, the Lightning offered a truly massive performance advantage over existing equipment when it was introduced into squadron service in 1960, achieving level flight speed of around, 1400mph. The prototype known as the P1 had flown in 1954 but production aircraft were not available until 1959, a long gestation period but perhaps understandable with such an advanced machine with many untried, new features. The painting shows an F1A of 111 squadron taking off from its base at Wattisham. The remarque drawing shows an aircraft of 56 squadron Firebirds in 1963 when they were the official RAF aerobatics team for that year. 337 Lightnings were produced, serving with nine squadrons of the Royal Air Force before being supersede by the Phantom and Tornado.
BAC Lightning by Keith Woodcock.
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 Of all the big piston-engined navy fighters built after WWll, the Hawker Sea Fury was the greatest.Rugged, powerful and fast, the formidable Sea Fury achieved fame over Korea in both fighter and ground attack roles and was the last of the line of piston-engined Fleet Air Arm fighters.

Testing Times by Michael Rondot. (Y)
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 Equipped with the experimental <i>Monica IIIE</i> detection device, Hawker Tempest EJ535 was deployed to the Fighter Interception Unit at Newchurch for evaluation in July 1944.  Originally developed as the AN/APS 13, <i>Monica</i> had been intended as a rear-looking device to warn crews of attacks from behind.  Now modified to face forward, it became a valuable aid in the battle against Hitler's terror weapons, notably the V-1 Flying Bomb.  In the hands of the Fighter Interception Unit's then Commanding Officer Joseph Berry, this became a winning combination with no fewer than 52 <i>Doodlebugs</i> falling to Berry's guns – on one occasion, seven V1s being shot down by Berry in a single night.

Bug Killer by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 Fokker DR.1 Triplane 425/17 of Manfred von Richthofen, accompanied by a Fokker. D.VII wingman, swoops from a high patrol early in 1918. 425/17 was the aircraft in which the Red Baron finally met his end in April of that year, no fewer than 17 of his victories having been scored in his red-painted triplane.

Final Days by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 On 31st August 1944, 6 Mosquitoes of 305 Polish Squadron, Lasham, 2nd TAF were led by Wing Commander Orlinski to attack oil refineries at Nomexy, south of Nancy, France. Diving down and releasing their bombs before escaping at tree top height they destroyed 4 large containers and several smaller ones. All aircraft safely returned after their four and a half hour sortie. Fl Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar) and his navigator Fl Lt Majer can be seen exiting the area to reform on the other 3 Mosquitoes who have already finished their bombing run. This was Atkins 61st operation, finishing the war with 78 ops over 3 tours.

Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian. (YB)
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 Sqn Ldr Billy Drake is shown in Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk1a ET790 claiming a Ju87 Stuka  on the 31st of October 1942.  Sqn Ldr Drake commanded  112 Squadron flying Kittyhawks at Gambut on 24th May 1942.  He claimed a probable Bf109 on 6th June, another probable on  2nd July, destroyed a Bf109 on the 8th, damaged a Ju88 on the ground on the 19th, destroyed a Bf109 on the 24th, two Ju87s on  the 1st September and another Bf109 on the 13th.  Drake shared a Ju87 and probably destroyed another on 1st October 1942, got a probable Bf109 on the 22nd, destroyed another on the 26th, an Me202 on the 27th, a Ju87 on the 31st, a Bf109 destroyed and another damaged on 5th November, a Bf109 destroyed on the ground on the 11th, an He111 destroyed and a Bf109 damaged on the 15th, a Bf110 destroyed and another damaged on the 19th, an Me202 and a Bf109 destroyed on 11th December and he finally shared a Bf109 on the 13th.  Drake was awarded a Bar to the DFC (28.7.42) and the DSO (4.12.42).

Tribute to Squadron Leader Billy Drake by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 A swordfish from HMS Warspite on patrol off the coast of Egypt, near the port of Alexandria.

Out of Alex by David Pentland.
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 Erich Topps notorious Red Devil Boat, U-552, slips quietly away from the scene of another victory in the North Atlantic in 1941.

U-552 by Ivan Berryman.
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 The mighty Bismarck returns fire to the fast-approaching HMS Hood at the start of a battle that would see both adversaries tragically sunk. The Bismarck would later be attacked by Swordfish aircraft from HMS Ark Royal, damaging her stearing and allowing her to be caught by the British battleships Rodney and King George V. The once proud German battleship would be ruthlessly pounded into a twisted and burning wreck and finally finished by HMS Dorsetshire with torpedoes at around 10:30 hours on the morning of May 27th 1941. HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori combed the area of the sinking for survivors, between them picking up a total of 110 out of an original complement of 2,300.

Bismarck Replies to HMS Hood by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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  D for Donald of 270 squadron, Royal Air Force, out of Freetown, West Africa operating in the Atlantic Ocean. It was during routine operation search that D for Donald surprised U515 on the surface and immediately attacked the submarine. U515 in putting up stiff resistance blew a large hole in the hull of D for Donald and the magazine of the starboard side 0.5 twin Browning was hit and the subsequent shrapnel wounded both blister gunners. U515 escaped but was sunk by an American naval hunter group a year later. D for Donald limped back to base and managed to make the beach before it would sink completely.
Catalina Attack by John Wynne Hopkins (B)
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B219AP.  Deutschland Passing Through the Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman.

Deutschland Passing Through the Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 A splendid little war was how John Hay, ambassador to Britain, described the Spanish-American war of 1898. Though the war was small in scope it was large in consequences; it promoted the regeneration of the American Navy and the emergence of the United States as a major world power. Fought primarily at sea, the war created an American naval legend in its opening encounter between the pacific squadrons of Spain and the United States at Manila Bay on the 1st of May 1898. At sunrise Admiral Dewey, leading the American fleet in his flagship the USS Olympia, had caught the Spanish fleet, under Admiral Patricio Montojo, by surprise - still anchored off Sangley Point at Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands. Defeat for the Spanish was total and heralded the end of a once extensive Spanish empire in the Americas. Montojos flagship, Reina Cristina, is seen here under fire from the Olympia.

The Battle of Manila Bay by Anthony Saunders (Y)
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B216P.  HMS Colossus by Ivan Berryman. Together with her sister ship, Hercules, HMS Colossus acquitted herself well at the Battle of Jutland where she fired 93 12in rounds, but received only two hits from enemy fire which caused minor damage and left nine crew injured.  She was sold for scrap in 1928.

HMS Colossus by Ivan Berryman (P)
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 Type 42 HMS Southampton (D90), Type 22 Beaver (F93), Type 42 Manchester (D95) and Type 21 Amazon (F169) formate during a World cruise on which they visited 17 countries in 9 months.

Around the World by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 Oberfeldwebel Albert Kerscher, commander of 2nd company 511 Heavy Tank Battalion aided by a Panzer IV, two Hetzers, a Kingtiger and a Pak gun, successfully defended against concerted Soviet air and armoured attacks, his action buying valuable time for the evacuation of German wounded from Pilau and scoring his 100th victory in the process.

Kerschers Defence of Neuhauser Forest by David Pentland.
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 Although in the process of regrouping after their escape from the Cherkassy Pocket, Panthers and Panzer Grenadiers of the crack 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking are part of the relief force hastily assembled and thrown in to free the strategically important city of Kowel in the Pripet Marshes. By April 10th the Soviet encirclement of the city was broken and Wiking were pulled out of the line to continue refitting.

Fight for Kowel, Poland, March/April 1944 by David Pentland.
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 Churchill MkIV tank of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade (comprised of 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards and 3rd Battalion Scots Guards), pass infantry of the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Battle for Caumont.

Operation Bluecoat, Normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Replacements from 1st Battalion Irish Guards and Sherman tanks of the 46th Royal Tank Regiment move through the debris of Anzio town towards their jump-off positions for the Battle of Campoleone Station.

Anzio, Italy, February 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 General Major Erwin Rommel leads the vanguard of his vaunted 7th Panzer (Ghost) Division past an abandoned French Char B tank on its epic drive from the Ardennes to the English Channel.

Blitzkrieg, Northern France, May 1940 by David Pentland.
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 After suppressing the initial German defences, the Sherman Crab flail tank of Lance Sgt Johnson, 3 Troop C Squadron the 22nd Dragoons, 79th Armoured Division,  clears a path through a minefield to allow tanks of 27th Armoured Brigade, and men of 3rd Infantry Division to breakout  from the beaches. Fire support from surviving Sherman DD (amphibious) tanks of 13th /18th Hussars (QMO), proved invaluable in the initial push towards Caen

D-Day, Sword Beach, Normandy 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Men of the US 381st Infantry Regiment, 96th Division supported by the tanks of 763rd and 713th Flamethrower Tank Battalions, during the assault on Yaeju Dake. This escarpment, known as Big Apple was the last in a series of tough Japanese defence lines on the south of the Island.

Taking of Big Apple, Okinawa, 10th - 14th June 1945 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 King Tigers of Kampfgruppe von Rosen, 3rd Company Heavy Tank Battalion 503, preparing to move out from the Tisza bridgehead to counter Soviet pressure on German forces attacking to the northwest at Debrecen during the first battles to defend the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Tigers in the Mist by David Pentland. (B)
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