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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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AVIATION PRINTS

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 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War. Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing. This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 Spitfires of No. 132 Squadron rush towards the Front to give ground support to the advancing Allied forces following breakout from the Normandy beaches, June 1944. <br><br><b>Published 2003.<br><br>Signed by three highly decorated fighter pilots who flew combat missions on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and during the Battle for Normandy.</b>

Normandy Breakout by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
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In the early summer of 1944 the Me 262 became the worlds first operational jet aircraft. With a top speed of 540 mph it easily outperformed any Allied aircraft of WWII, and went on to revolutionise aerial warfare. A truly remarkable aircraft.
Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me262A-1a by Barry Price.
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 A Wellington returns low over the calm, dawn water of the North Sea, vainly struggling to maintain both height and speed.

Dawn Return by Anthony Saunders (P)
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 Byron Duckenfield and his 501 Squadron wingman struggle to get airborne in their Hurricanes as the spectacle of the scrambling squadron draws a group of passing motorists out of their vehicle to witness the thunderous noise of the aircraft.

501 Sqn Scramble by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Wing Commander Roland Beamont in his personal Tempest V, intercepted and downed his first V1 Buzzbomb on the night of June 22nd, 1944, over south east England. As Commander of 150 wing and others he went on to shoot down a total of 30 V1 flying bombs, 8 enemy aircraft and 35 locomotives destroyed plus one minesweeper sunk.
A Buzz for Beamont by David Pentland. (Y)
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 It was in 1941 that the remarkable Focke-Wulfe FW190 first appeared in the skies of Europe, quickly establishing itself as a most formidable adversary. It proved to be the supreme weapon against all allied bomber forces. Here FW190A-8 of 1 Gruppe, Jagdgesschwader 1 is shown attacking a B17G of 381st Bomb Group during a critical defence of the Reich in 1944.

Cat Among the Pigeons (FW190) by Ivan Berryman.
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 Even the most faithful of Messerschmitt Me 109 pilots that also flew the Focke-Wulf Fw190 grudgingly admitted the well-proportioned and aesthetically pleasing Fw190 was the finest single-seat fighter in the Luftwaffes armoury during World War II. Soon after its arrival on the Channel Front in 1941, when initial bugs were ironed out, this superb fighter came close to fighter design perfection by the standards of the day. Just as the Mk IX Spitfire held the mantle as Britains most outstanding combat fighter of the war, so was the Fw190 regarded by experienced Luftwaffe pilots. Within months of its operational debut the Fw190 was causing widespread consternation among RAF pilots, the new fighter equal to the Mk IX Spitfire in all but its ability in the tightest of turning circles. By 1944 the technically superb Fw190 came into its own in the great air battles against the USAAFs massed daylight raids. The defence of the Reichs western airspace rested on the shoulders of a few Jagdgschwarden who, against steadily increasing odds, were tasked with interception and destruction of the attacking American heavy bombers. Flying alongside the two established Channel fighter wings JG2 Richthofen and JG26 Schlageter, equipped with Fw190s and led by the great fighter ace Oberst Walter Oesau, JG1 joined the battle in defence of northern Germany. Nicolas Trudgians painting Storm Chasers depicts the Fw190As of I./JG1, distinguished by their distinctive black and white striped cowls, scrambling from the snow-covered Dortmund airfield on 10 February 1944 to intercept another inbound American daylight raid. Nicks dramatic view of this technically supreme fighter conveys its true class as it hurtles over the airfield, its undercarriage retracting as the Fw190 accelerates into the climb. Below, sharing the airfield with I./JGI, are the Fw190s of the newly formed Sturmstaffel 1, identified by their black-white-black tail bands, seen taxiing out to join in the interception. Despite bad weather conditions the Luftwaffes defending fighters scored heavily that day, inflicting severe losses on the Americans, claiming 29 bombers and 8 fighters shot down in the action.

Storm Chasers by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
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B61AP.  USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman.
USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 Key ships of the British task Force sail in close formation in the Mediterranean Sea during the build-up to the coalition liberation of Iraq in march 2003. Ships pictured left to right, include ATS Argus (A135), a Type 42 destroyer in the extreme distance, the flagship HMS ark Royal (RO7), RFA Orangeleaf (A110), LSL Sir Percival (L3036), the Commando and helicopter carrier HMS ocean (L12) and the Type 42 destroyer HMS Liverpool (D92) 

NTG03 - Task Force to Iraq by Ivan Berryman (P)
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 Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman.
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 The Leander class cruiser HMS Orion is shown departing Grand Harbour Malta late in 1945.

HMS Orion by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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HMS Hood makes a turn to port, while in line and astern is HMS Collingwood.  Valetta can be seen in the distance.

HMS Hood at Malta 1896 By Randall Wilson.
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 The destroyer HMS Kelly passes close to the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign as she escorts a convoy in the Mediterranean near Malta.

HMS Kelly passes HMS Royal Sovereign by Ivan Berryman (Y)
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The pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, passes Gibraltar on her way to join HMS Prince of Wales at Scapa Flow and onto her short and tragic engagement with the German battleship Bismarck.

HMS Hood Passing Gibraltar by Brian Wood (P)
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 Arguably the most iconic moment in British naval history, <i>HMS Victory</i> is depicted just moments from firing her devastating opening salvo into the stern galleries of the French flagship </i>Bucentaure</i> at Trafalgar as Nelson's flagship enters the fray at approximately 12.30pm on October 21st 1805.  Beyond <i>Victory</i>, in the extreme distance through the gun smoke, Collingwood's <i>Royal Sovereign</i>is engaging the <i>Santa Ana</i>.  To the left of the painting, the French <i>Neptune</i> and Spanish <i>San Justo</i> can be seen with <i>Redoutable</i> immediately beyond <i>Victory</i>, trying vainly to close the gap.  <i>Victory</i>, already shot to pieces, is about to wreak her terrible revenge on the <i>Bucentaure</i> in the foreground where Vice-Admiral Villeneuve can be seen on the poop deck - wearing the green corduroy pantaloons.  Nelson was surely the nemesis of Villeneuve, who had been summarily humiliated some seven years earlier at the Battle of the Nile and Nelson's tactics would again win the day for His Majesty's navy, albeit at the tragic cost of Nelson himself.

Nemesis by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 1st Battalion in action at Escaut Canal, Belgium, May 1940. The last Highland Regiment to wear a kilt in battle, attacking the Germans at the River Escaut.  From the Diary of Captain R. Leah, 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders : Tuesday 21st May : Bn left Ere about 2 a.m. to march back. Fortunately Coy Cmdr. were required for some sort of recce and we went in C.O.s car.  Arrived Taintignies 3 a.m. and self went out again with Wilkie in C.O.s car to look for for C Coy which had gone astray, and to see Q.M. about Bn rations in Wez-Velvain.  Could not find either.  Met the Battalion arriving from Ere when I left the village at 3 a.m.  Got back myself at 4 a.m. found empty house which I entered by window and slept well for 5 hours. Officers mess going in house beside M.T. park, and had good breakfast.  Fairly quiet morning and orders to move this afternoon to Bn assembly position S of Wez-Velvain.  Thence we were directed to Merlin and prepared for counter-attack to drive enemy off Western side of Escaut.

The Charge of the 1st Battalion Queens Own Cameron Highlanders by David Rowlands (AP)
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 1st Battalion in action at Escaut Canal, Belgium, May 1940. The last Highland Regiment to wear a kilt in battle, attacking the Germans at the River Escaut.  From the Diary of Captain R. Leah, 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders : Tuesday 21st May : Bn left Ere about 2 a.m. to march back. Fortunately Coy Cmdr. were required for some sort of recce and we went in C.O.s car.  Arrived Taintignies 3 a.m. and self went out again with Wilkie in C.O.s car to look for for C Coy which had gone astray, and to see Q.M. about Bn rations in Wez-Velvain.  Could not find either.  Met the Battalion arriving from Ere when I left the village at 3 a.m.  Got back myself at 4 a.m. found empty house which I entered by window and slept well for 5 hours. Officers mess going in house beside M.T. park, and had good breakfast.  Fairly quiet morning and orders to move this afternoon to Bn assembly position S of Wez-Velvain.  Thence we were directed to Merlin and prepared for counter-attack to drive enemy off Western side of Escaut.

The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders by David Rowlands (C)
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 Having made contact the previous evening with troops of 4th Infantry Division pushing inland from Utah Beach, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne division The Screaming Eagles help mop up the pockets of German resistance in their general advance towards Carentan.

Screaming Eagles in Normandy, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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DHM289P.   Arnhem Drop 17th September 1944 by Simon Smith.

Arnhem Drop 17th September 1944 by Simon Smith (P)
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 Trapped within a rapidly decreasing perimeter, the exhausted BEF along with elements of the French 1st Army appeared to be at the mercy of the mighty Luftwaffe. No one though had reckoned on the brilliant leadership of Admiral Ramsay nor the gallant and unstinting efforts of the military and civilians who managed to rescue over 330,000 troops in nine days.

Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk, France 24th May - 4th June 1940 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 St Mere Eglise, Normandy, 6th June 1944.  U.S. Paratroops of the 82nd <i>All American</i> Airborne Division, descend on occupied France.

First to Fight by David Pentland. (AP)
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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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 US Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd RCT, 2nd Marine Division, supported by LVTs and tanks, take part in the successful but bloody assault on Betio Island, part of the Tarawa Atoll. Operation Galvanic as it was known became the first step on the island road to Japan itself.

Red Beach Two, Tarawa Atoll, 20th November 1943 by David Pentland. (GL)
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