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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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 On the night of 12th September 1944, Lancaster NF958 (LS-M) of No.15 Sqn was lost in the skies above Mannheim when it was attacked by the Messerschmitt Bf.110G-2 of Ofw Ludwig Schmidt of II/NGJ 6, the bomber receiving hits to the bomb bay which ignited the incendiaries still in their racks.  Five of the crew bailed out and were taken prisoner of war once captured.  The pilot, F/O Norman Overend RNZAF, did not escape the aircraft.  Flt Sgt Harry A Beverton was seen to leave the stricken Lancaster but was not seen again.<br><br><b>Crew of <i>Lancaster LS-M</i> :</b><br><br>F/O Norman Overend RNZAF<br>Sgt Barry J Howarth <i>(survived)</i><br>Sgt George B Thomson <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt John D Jones <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt Robert P E Kendall <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt Harry A Beverton<br>Sgt I Spagatner <i>(survived)</i>.

Incident over Mannheim by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £45.00
17th May 1943, Sqn Ldr Frank (Jerry) Fray in his Spitfire PRX1 of 542 Squadron operating out of RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, returned alone and unarmed to gather photographic evidence from 30,000 feet of the Möhne dam having been breached earlier the same day by 617 Squadron Lancaster bombers.

Mission Accomplished by Philip West.
Half Price! - £105.00
 From the day they began their aerial campaign against Nazi Germany to the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the USAAF bomber crews plied their hazardous trade in broad daylight. This tactic may have enabled better sighting of targets, and possibly less danger of mid-air collisions, but the grievous penalty of flying daylight missions over enemy territory was the ever presence of enemy fighters. Though heavily armed, the heavy bombers of the American Eighth Air Force were no match against the fast, highly manoeuvrable Me109s, Fw190s and, late in the war, Me 262 jet fighters which the Luftwaffe sent up to intercept them. Without fighter escort they were sitting ducks, and inevitably paid a heavy price. Among others, one fighter group earned particular respect, gratitude, and praise from bomber crews for their escort tactics. The 356th FG stuck rigidly to the principle of tight bomber escort duty, their presence in tight formation with the bombers often being sufficient to deter enemy attack. Repeatedly passing up the opportunity to increase individual scores, the leadership determined it more important to bring the bombers home than claim another enemy fighter victory. As the air war progressed this philosophy brought about an unbreakable bond between heavy bomber crews and escort fighter pilots, and among those held in the highest esteem were the pilots of the 356th. Top scoring ace Donald J Strait, flying his P-51 D Mustang Jersey Jerk, together with pilots of the 356th Fighter Group, are seen in action against Luftwaffe Fw 190s while escorting B-17 bombers returning from a raid on German installations during the late winter of 1944. One minute all is orderly as the mighty bombers thunder their way homeward, the next minute enemy fighters are upon them and all hell breaks loose. <br><br><b>Published 2003.<br><br>Signed by three of the top pilots from the 356th Fighter group.</b>

Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)
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 Two Fairey Firefly fighter-bombers of 810 Sqn, Fleet Air Arm, overfly the carrier HMS Theseus during the Korean War.

HMS Theseus by Ivan Berryman.
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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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 An SAS team is picked up by a U.S. Army Special Forces Blackhawk helicopter after a successful operation against the Taliban.

Extraction - Afghanistan 2011 by David Pentland. (AP)
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 Rittmeister Karl Bolle Commander Jasta 2 early 1918.

Alone in a Winter Sky - Fokker Triplane DR1 by David Pentland. (P)
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 Whilst flying with A Flight of 85 Squadron on 30th July 1940, Geoffrey Allard encountered a pair of Messerschmitt Bf.110s about 40 miles from the coast, apparently patrolling near a convoy.  After Squadron Leader Townsend, flying  Red 1, had made two unsuccessful attacks, Allard closed to 150 yards and began to fire continuously, eventually closing to just 25 yards, whereupon the starboard engine of the Bf.110 began to disintegrate. This was just one of eight victories that Allard claimed during the Battle of Britain to add to a previous eight that he had scored flying Hurricanes during the Battle of France.

Close Combat by Ivan Berryman. (B)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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Westland Wyverns go vertical over HMS Eagle during the Suez Crisis of 1956

Up and Over by Randall Wilson.
Half Price! - £35.00
Germanys U-boat fleet had almost brought Britain to its knees in the First World war, twenty years later the story was very similar. the German U-boat arm came perilously close to cutting the lifeline that crossed the Atlantic between North America and Britain. in the early years of the war Donitz realised that keeping his U-boats at sea for as long as possible would greatly increase their chances of success. here U-93 (left) and U-94 take fuel from the auxiliary cruiser Kormoran whilst in the mid-Atlantic during 1941

Dawn Rendezvous by Anthony Saunders (P)
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 Grand Harbour, Malta, April 1932. The R-Class battleship HMS Revenge slips majestically past the carrier HMS Furious as she lies at anchor as three of her Fairey IIIFs fly overhead on a routine training sortie.

HMS Furious with HMS Revenge by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 HMS Ajax was built as a light cruiser at Barrow and launched in 1935. She saw service initially in the American and West Indies theatre before temporary commission in the Mediterranean. Then followed her never to be forgotten role in the Battle of the River Plate ending in the scuttling of the Graf Spey. She is seen here entering Portsmouth Harbour with the Isle of White in the background.

HMS Ajax by Ivan Berryman.
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Bismarck, now complete and newly painted in full Baltic camouflage, returns to Hamburg for the last time as the harsh winter of 1940/41 relents and the pride of the German Kriegsmarine prepares for real action.  In the distance, the pre-Dreadnought Schleswig-Holstein awaits her next commission, the old ship alternating between vital ice-breaker and air defence duties at this time.  The Bismarck would in May 1941 put to sea and engage and sink HMS Hood only to be caught by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  Bismarck was pounded into a floating wreck, finally being sunk by the torpedoes of HMS Dorsetshire.  From her crew of 2300 only 110 would be rescued by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori.

Bismarck Entering Hamburg Harbour by Ivan Berryman
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 Spitfire of 761 Training Squadron (attached to the Royal Navy) flies over the Forth Railway Bridge on the eve of World War Two, also shown is HMS Royal Oak departing Rosyth for the open sea.

Land, Sea and Air by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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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 (AP)
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 Between 24th may and 4th June 1940 an extraordinary armada of craft, large and small, naval and civilian, embarked on one of the greatest rescue missions in history. the evacuation of 330,000 British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France. the destroyer HMS Wakeful dominates the foreground here as troops pour onto the beaches and harbour moles in search of salvation. Both Wakeful and distant HMS Grafton were lost during the evacuation.

Dunkirk by Ivan Berryman.
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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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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 88mm AA guns of the 23rd Flak Regiment, used as anti-tank guns by orders of Rommel himself, are shown firing on British Matilda tanks of 4th/7th Royal Tank Regiment.

Action at Arras, France, 21st May 1940 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 A Tiger I and PAK 40 anti tank gun of the Müncheberg Division, field a final defence of the capital in front of the Brandenburg Gate under the shattered remains of the famous Linden trees. The under-strength division had just been formed the previous month from a mixture of ad hoc units and various marks of tank. Despite this it put up a spirited fight until its final destruction in early May.

Tiger at the Gate, Berlin, 30th april 1945 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Pioneers were among the first British troops to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, by 1st August 1944 there were over 35,500 pioneers in Normandy. The painting shows the various activities of the pioneers during the D-Day landings.

Sword Beach by Terence Cuneo.
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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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 Bastogne, Ardennes, Belgium, 20th December 1944.  Newly arrived 81mm Mortars of 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, fire in support of U.S. Paratroopers defending against German probes to the north of Bastogne.

Fire for Effect by David Pentland.
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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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 British MK1 Grant tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry 8th Armoured Brigade, 10th Armoured Division, breakout from El Alamein.

Operation Supercharge, 4th November 1941 by David Pentland. (AP)
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