The Jeffrey L. Ethell Collection
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  Slide Number Description Image
#00101 A pilot and navigator, 94th Bomb Group, check their watches before takeoff. This B-17G is being loaded with the members of the 55th FG to be transported to Kaufburen in Germany for Post War duties. Having waited on the runways edge for the weather to clear, and then clearance to board for most of the morning, the senior ground staff and crew are timing the schedule for this planes departure. Note Yellow Tail **
#00102 Pilots looking at a map in a staged photograph.
#00103 Back from what turned out to be the biggest mission of the war, 24 December 1944, with 2,046 bombers and 853 Fighter Group listen on the ramp at Wormingford as Lieutenant Koening tries to describe what it was like. The no smoking near aircraft rule was routinely broken under the pressure of wartime flying.**
#00104 Field maintenance on the 94th Bomb Group's Mighty Mike at Bury St. Edmonds. Ground crews at bomber bases had a massive job in keeping aircraft combat ready, and much of the work was performed in the open at the assigned hardstand. Only the seriously damaged airc4raft were pulled into the hangers. This veteran of more than 30 missions is being serviced at Hardstand No.17.
#00105 The lead B-17G of the 388th Bomb Group takes the formation home to Knettishall after attacking Brest, France, 26 August 1944. The "Big Friends" flew into the roughest of conditions and the ware and tare was evident on their aircraft. This Fort has a replacement wing panel from a camouflaged sister ship, deeply stained engine nacelles and flaking paint.
#00106 This 490th Bomb Group B-24 is in the process of being brought up to operational status for the next mission. Bombs have been "dropped" off unto the ground for loading into the open bomb bays. They also make handy bike stands. Deicer boots on the leading edge of the wings have been removed for summer flying. Flown by Lt. Thomas Keyes, the crew were the 13th assigned to the 490th BG. As a result, they covered the nose of 'The Jinx' with numerous 'bad luck' symbols in an attempt at reverse psychology on good old 'lady luck'. On the opposite side of the nose was a wonderful huge piece of art of a fluffy black cat. It must have worked as this plane survived the war, and was only broken up for scrap in May 1945. Pictured here being prepared for another mission June 1944, at Hardstand No.37 looking north. Hanger No.2 can be seen the far distance of the plane's left.
#00107 High explosive bombs in the revements of the 851st BS, based at Eye, England. This picture was taken near hardstands 27 and 28 on the south side of the airfield looking North West. Eye had a problem as a base, because it did have the luxury of the same wooded cover most other bases had for bomb stage, so there was little in the way of camouflage or protection from accidental detonation!
#00108 B-24J's of the 493rd BG - 862nd BS, taxiing prior to take on a mission in Summer 1944 from Debach, Suffolk - Station 152 England.**
#00109 This is the 100thBG (picture need flipping) having just returned from Germany to Thorpe Abbots with casualties. The 'meat wagon' as it was affectionately known, was service ambulance seen here having rushed immediately to attend to some of the wounded. One of the wounded just be seen under the main fuselage of the plane on the left.
#00110 A 486th Bomb Group B-17G climbs out over England in the spring of 1945. The war was almost over but the Big Friends continued to hammer the German war machine. The propeller bosses are still dark green from her time previously with the 835th Bomb Squadron.
#00111 The 388th Bomb Group has just returned to Knettishall from bombing Brest on 26 August 1944 and ground crews are already servicing and refueling this Flying Fort, the lead ship to the high squadron that day. She is being refueled for a mission to Brest on 26 August 1944. She lived up to her name when finally on 6th February 1945 she collided with another B17 in heavy cloud over Cambridge. All the crew bailed out, but sadly the co-pilot was lost when his 'shoot failed to open. Shot taken looking North West towards the control tower.
#00112 Inbound to England from Germany, April 1945, 356th Fighter Group P-51Ds, flown by Jack Crump, Nunzio B. Ceraolo, Don Jones as viewed from Herb Rutland's position as No. 2 in the flight. The three planes in this shot are 'Jackie', 'Tar Baby' & 'Louise' respectively. **
#00113 Terre Haut Tornado, B-26 Marauder of the 344th Bomb Group, at rest in England. Generally speaking, fighter pilots found escorting Marauders and A-26 Invaders to be far easier than escorting the heavy four-engine types. This was due primarily to equal cruising speeds, which eliminated the fighters having to weave over the bomber formation. was a veteran of the 344thBG, of the 9th AF. Seen here at hardstand waiting for her next mission.
#00114 Though several different aircraft were manufactured by Willy Messerschmitt's company, the use of hsi name among Americans usually meant a single machine, the Me 109. Built in multiple versions, 109s flew in combat from the Spanish Civil War through the end of World War II, giving Allied pilots a rough time when flown by skilled pilots. "Black 12," a Me 109 G-10/R2, flew with 2./NAG 14 at the end of the war. Note P-51, "Skipped" in back ground.
#00115 Though less maneuverable than single engined fighters, the Messerschmitt 110 had to be approached with care if a skilled gunner manned the rear seat. This Me 110 G-2 of II/2G 1 at Montecorvino, Italy, 1943, is painted in the unit's colorful Wespe (wasp) insignia.**
#00116 Maj. Pierce W. "Mac" McKennon runs up Ridge Runner III at Debden, April 45. Though he was forced to bail out twice, as indicated by the small parachutes behind the razorback boar, Mac managed to return to the 4th Fighter Group each time and get back on flying statue. Crew Chief JOSEPH SILLS was constantly amazed at Mac's energy and aggressiveness. **
#00117 Just about everything you could hang on fighter in 1944---metal drop tanks, 500-pound bombs and .50 caliber bullets.Men in ammo dump, arming bombs
#00118 Strafing run! Gun camera film from a 78th Fighter Group Mustang records part of the biggest day's bag by an Eighth AF fighter group during the war---125 German aircraft were claimed destroyed, nine by group CO John Landers, on 16 April 1945 on airfields in Czechoslovakia. Total Eighth Air Force claims were an incredible 752 aircraft. The He 111 in the foreground is already burnign smartly as .50 caliber hits register on and around the next German aircraft. Airplane damaged / destroyed by strafing. Frame from gun camera film of Lt. Coletti of the 78thFG taken on the 16th April 1945, near Prague. See picture 05022 - 05028 inclusive!
#00119 Being loaded for ground attack mission over France. SS Robert E Robinson rearms the 4.50 in the left wing as M/Sgt James H. McGee and Sgt John Koval moves a 500 lb bomb into the wing shackle
#00120 Lt. Robert C. Buchholz was killed in action in this 4th Fighter Group Mustang, Suzy, on 9 April 1945 when the group was strafing Munich-Brunnthal airdrome in Germany. Hit by flack, the P-51 wen tin before he had a chance to bail out. **
#00121 Men working with bombs under camo net.
#00122 Lt. Dick Perley leans against the only contraption conceived by man that could overcome "General Mud," the mighty Cletrac, at Toul-Ochey airfield near Nancy, France, winter 1944-45. Like other Ninth Air Force fighter groups, the 50th operated, for the most part, from unprepared areas covered by pierced steel planking (PSP), living in tents and trying to find enough heat.
#00123 A well-warn F-5A Lightning in synthetic haze paint, with cameras instead of guns in the nose.
#00124 This is 'Pamela' of the 25thBG (R). The unit was the very first to equipped to dispense 'Chaff' to black enemy radar during heavy bomber missions. Though 'Chaff was carried by some heavy bombers, a need was realised to have faster aircraft fly on ahead of the bomber formations to break up enemy radar signals early, in advance of the raid arrival. the all reed tail surface was an attempt to distinguish the type from the German Me410 which was very similar in shape and design. NS739 was built at the Hatfield Plant, and had a distinguished and lengthy career, surviving the war, and a being finally stuck off the RAF inventory in 1947.
#00125 This recce Lightning has a uniform blue haze color scheme which was applied over a black lacquer base coat. The "Photo Joes" wanted to blend in with thier environment as much as possible.
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