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374th Fighter Squadron
Photo Archive

Please click on the thumbnail picture for a high quality enlargement.

Lt. Edward B. Murdy's ground crew, (L-R) armourer Sgt. Ted M. Pearson, crew-chief S/Sgt. Arthur F. Trilli and assistant crew-chief Sgt. Carl E. Dunn, prepare to man-handle P-47 B7:M onto the compass platform at Bottisham airfield ready for compass adjustment. (Trilli)

Lt. James D. Hastin posing with his P-47D "Bette of Brooklyn", 42-75174, coded B7:T. His sole enemy aircraft claim was an Me109 shared with Lt. Henry B. Lederer on 30 January 1944. After being forced down near Evreux on 8 June 1944, Hastin was eventually sent to Buchenwald but, mercifully, the Luftwaffe later transferred him to Stalag Luft III. (Screws)

Lt. Loy C. Vandiver poses with his P-47D "Just Mary", sporting a Varga girl design on the cowling. Lt. Vandiver's sole aerial victory was one of four enemy fighters destroyed by the 374th during a sweep conducted by the 361st between the enemy coast and Steinhuder Lake on 8 April 1944. (Screws)

P-47D "Lil' Jo" and proud owner, Lt. Joe L. Latimer, another pilot who with a single Me109 claimed destroyed, contributed to the 374th's earliest success on 30 January 1944. Tragically, on 19 June 1944, Capt. Latimer was one of five pilots lost due to bad weather during a bomber escort mission over France.  (Screws)

Lt. Wayne L. Moore examines battle damage to his P-47D "Fascinating Fanny", 42-75441, coded B7:B, after the 30 January 1944 mission. Although unlucky on this occasion, Lt. Moore claimed one of five Fw190s destroyed on 6 March 1944 while escorting bombers on their withdrawal from Berlin. (Frank)

Little Friend visits Big Friend! Viewed from a B-24 waist window, P-47D "Tika", 42-75452, coded B7:R, pulls in for a closer look, having jettisoned its under-belly fuel tank. Ostensibly Lt. Vernon R. Richards' personal aircraft, the pilot on this occasion was Lt. Jim Hastin. (USAF)

374th Fighter Squadron Operations Officer, Capt. George R. Rew squats on the wing of his Thunderbolt "Scarlet Kate", one of only a few natural metal finish P-47D-22-REs assigned to the Group before the conversion to Mustangs in May 1944. Maj. Rew assumed command of the 374th in September 1944. (Drew)

The original 374th CO was Maj. Roy A. Webb, Jr., shown here with his personal aircraft, P-47D "Sweet Thing III", coded B7:W. Having destroyed an Me109 while leading his squadron on 30 January 1944, he would add a further three enemy aircraft to his aerial score plus five destroyed on the ground. (Trilli)

Parked opposite the T2 hangar at Bottisham, in full D-Day markings, Capt. George R. Rew's P-51B "Scarlet Kate" was one of the first in the Group to be fitted with the Malcolm "bubble" canopy. It was later abandoned by Lt. Barry R. Hicks during a routine flight and destroyed near Duxford. (Nutt)

374th Commander L/Col. Roy A Webb, Jr's personal P-51D "Sweet thing IV", 44-13537, B7-W rests on its Bottisham dispersal in June 1944. On 29 June, following a raid by 2nd Bomb division B-24's, it was in this aircraft that L/Col. Webb led the attack on Oschersleben airdrome, destroying five enemy aircraft and damaging another. (Dennehy)

Lt. Robert Eckfeldt of the 374th poses with his personal P-51B " Bald Eagle III", 42-106839, B7-E, in which he destroyed four Fw190's, damaged two others and claimed a share in a third while strafing Oschersleben airdrome on 29 June 1944. He was also credited with three aerial victories before completing his tour in August 1944. (Frank)

In one of the less familiar publicity shots taken of 361st FG Mustangs in July 1944, 374th Squadron P-51D 44-13626 shows off its classic profile, with a pair of 75 US gallon drop-tanks slung under the wings and L/Col. Roy A. Webb, Jr. at the helm. Assigned pilot was Lt. Edward B. Murdy. (USAF)

Photographed above the patchwork of the Cambridgeshire countryside, another of the publicity photos depicts P-51D 44-13857. B7:O was eventually shot down by flak near Orleans on 13 August 1944, but the pilot, Lt. Loren L. Montgomery survived, evaded capture and later returned to the Squadron. (USAF)

Lt. Vernon R. Richards with his ground crew (L-R) armourer Cpl. Herbert L. Criss, crew-chief S/Sgt. Robert O. Bland, assistant crew-chief S/Sgt. Claude F. Van Pool and his P-51D "Tika IV", 44-13357, coded B7:R. Lt. Alfred B. Cook, Jr. was killed in this aircraft on 16 November 1944 when it crashed near Steeple Morden. (Bland)

Lt. Barry R. Hicks posing with his personal P-51D "Curvacious Mary" (note spelling!), 44-15323, coded B7:H, at Little Walden. Assigned as a replacement on 13 July 1944, his aerial score was two enemy aircraft destroyed and one damaged. B7:H was eventually renamed "Curvacious Irene" for Lt. Alva Hill. (Trilli)

Lt. Edward L. Wilsey poses with two of his ground crew (R-L) Sgt. Vincent F. Rosewell, assistant crew-chief and S/Sgt. Gerald B. Rheinscheld, crew-chief, with propeller specialist T/Sgt. Carl M. Grubbs and his personal P-51B "Ruthie Bev", 43-25032, coded B7:L. Lt. Francis Christensen was killed in action in this plane on 30 October 1944. (Trilli)

Assuming responsibility for the training of replacement pilots for the 65th Fighter Wing in aerial gunnery, the 1st Gunnery and Tow Target Flight was assigned to Little Walden on 21 November 1944. The Flight's equipment included A-20s and P-47s, also Vultee A-35s as depicted with P-51D B7:U. (Dennehy)

Crew-chief S/Sgt. Claude Canada poses with Capt. Lucius G. LaCroix’s P-51D "Li'l Bunyep", 44-15275, on the line at airdrome A-64, St. Dizier, France with Japanese and German victory markings on the canopy frame. Capt. LaCroix had previously flown P-40s with the 5th Air Force in the Pacific.(Trilli)

Lt. Jack C. Mitenbuler in his P-51D "Sweet Adeline", 44-14714, coded B7:M, with his crew-chief, S/Sgt. Arthur F. Trilli, on the line at St. Dizier. Although Lt. Mitenbuler claimed no victory credits, Lt. Richard E. Chandler destroyed a Fw190 and damaged another while flying 44-14714 on 26 November 1944. (Trilli)

Sgt. Robert W. Ackerman relaxes with L/Col. Wallace E. Hopkins' "Ferocious Frankie", 44-11568, coded B7:H, at Station 181-B, Chievres in Belgium. Displaying four aerial and four ground victories, this was one of a few P-51K models assigned to the 361st. L/Col. Hopkins eventually became Deputy Group Commander in April 1945. (Nyberg)