At first its senior pilots flew with the th. On February 20, , Bud got his teeth into an MeG and registered some hits. Although that Messerschmitt escaped, it was an encouraging start. Then on March 8, during an escort mission to Hanover, Bud tangled with another In a close, hard-fought contest, he and the German pilot flew offset intersecting paths, passing each other in a circling combat, unable to shoot. I ease off the stick and he flies into my view.
Hot damn! I got him!
His goes straight in. April and May were big months in Europe, and Bud scored consistently. On May 27, he took his flight into a passel of s and quickly cut one out of the herd. That plane had barely fallen when Bud started tangling with the finest pilot he ever came up against.
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The encounter quickly developed into a vertical combat, with each man flying his fighter to the edge of control, milking every increment of energy before pitching over, nosing down to regain speed and repeating the process. The German airplane dropped like a safe, exploding on impact.
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But he returned two months later for a second tour, adding four more kills by yearend. He candidly admitted that the scarcity of airborne targets was frustrating through late Apart from good leadership and copious experience, the th also benefited from exceptional maintenance.
He recalled the time he made a passing remark after a late mission, noting that since much of Germany was blanketed in snow at that point, the olive-drab paint should eventually be stripped from Old Crow. The next morning he was stunned to see sunlight reflecting off the polished aluminum of his Mustang.
In the process, they had rubbed most of the skin off their hands. No one asked them to do that. No one expected it. No one ever asked or expected them to change the spark plugs after each mission, either. Not every crew did that. But they did. Old Crow was as much their plane as mine. They took as much pride in the things it accomplished as I did.
One of the losses the group sustained occurred in January , just after Bud had left for home. When the weather clamped down for nearly a week, the AT-6 pilot grew weary of waiting. Trying to sneak into Leiston beneath a low ceiling, he flew the Texan into a hill. When Bud got back home, he married Ellie Cosby Stacker.
The 363rd Fighter Group in World War II
They would have two children, Jim and Kitty. But in April the project suffered a severe blow when a Thunderjet making an in-flight linkup rolled inverted into the bomber, resulting in the loss of all the airmen involved see Project Tip-Tow , from the January issue. Although the program was successful, SAC elected not to use it, since inflight refueling became common during that period. Unavoidably assigned to the Pentagon, Bud relished each tour in com- bat units.
In Korea during he served as director of operations for the 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing and commanded the 69th Fighter Squadron. Like so many pilots of his era, Bud adored the F When jet airplanes came in, some people thought dogfighting was suddenly a thing of the past. People had said the same thing before World War II. Well, the F and its Soviet counterpart, the MiG, were dogfighting over Korea, just as the biplanes of World War I had done, and the monoplanes of the next war. Upon returning home from Korea, Bud resumed experimental flying. Bud subsequently entered his second war as commander of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing in His combat swansong was commanding the th Tactical Fighter Wing in Thailand during When he retired in February , Bud had completed 30 years on active duty.
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th Fighter Group - Wikipedia
Book Description Hardback. Not Signed; This history sheds light on the achievements of the rd for the period it flew escort and ground support missions over Europe. The day-to-day operations are interspersed with quotes from the group and squadron diaries, and supplemented by an exhaustive appendix to give the reader a look into the c.
This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis This history sheds light on the achievements of the rd for the period it flew escort and ground support missions over Europe.
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