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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.
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.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Mustang aircraft.

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 : 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.

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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 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.

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