The Jeffrey L. Ethell Collection
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  Slide Number Description Image
#00051 Lt. Robert Schmidt has just pulled the mixture on his "Tar Baby" after a mission with the 356th Fighter Group in April 1945. His crew chief is already up on the wing to get the first report of how the show went, and more importantly, to ask whether pilots had any "squawks" on the aircraft. He comes to rest after a mission in late evening 1945. His plane is 'Tar Baby' serial 44-15056, desig'n 'PI-W' formerly the mount of Capt. J. Crump and previously named 'Lorraine'. **
#00052 Maj. Pierce W. "Mac" McKennon's p_51D on the line at Debden with the 335th Squadron, 4th Fighter Group. This was the second of his Ridge Runner Mustangs with the Arkansas razorback on the side and his string of victories. On 18 March 1945 he bailed out of this fighter near Berlin and was picked up by George Green. This was his 2nd plane to carry the name & nose art 'Ridge Runner' serial 44-14221, desig'n 'WD-A'. N.B. This plane looks exactly like some pictures of the 3rd 'Runner', but this aircraft only had one rearview, & the latter had two! **
#00053 A meeting of fighter group commanders, March 23, 1945. Closest aircraft is the last "Man O War" serial 44-15625. The second 'unmarked' aircraft in is mostly likely a War Weary P51C 'hack' aircraft, used for ferrying only. **
#00054 A meeting of fighter group commanders at Debden on 23 March 1945 to plan support for the Rhine River crossing. In this lineup are Mustangs from the following groups: 359th 20th, 353rd, 357th and an F-5 Lightning from the 7th Photo Group.
#00055 Another picture of the senior staff meeting 23rd March '45. Close up nose shot of Lt. Col. Kinnards last P51D 'Man O War' serial 44-15625. Row of aircraft at Debden on 23 March 1945 were from these groups: 355th, 361st, 339th, 364th, 55th and the 356th. Certainly VIII Fighter Command allowed their pilots to carry some of the most colorful markings since von Richthofen's Flying Circus.
#00056 Ever reliable Jan Husten worked for the U.S. Red Cross, personally ensuring daily deliveries of coffee & doughnuts to the mechanics of the 55thFG from its 1st day at Wormingford to the end of the war. A stalwart! Pictured winter '44-'45 (see 00060) **
#00057 The orderly Room crew at Nuthampsted, 12/43. Corporal Horn snaps Captains Boggess' picture as (r to l): Sgt Laque, Sgt Fladung, S/Sgt Golden & Cpl Anderson look on. **
#00058 The “SUZY Q” flew all the way around the world to fly and fight with the 19thBG in the South Pacific. She took part in every major Pacific campaign except the Battle of Midway. She completed 93 mission little over a year, her gunners claimed unsurpassed 26 aircraft destroyed. She came home to a heroes welcome, to be used for War Bond and propaganda campaigns. In doing so she was given a guard of honor as seen in this image at Topeka, Kansas. She went to the 93rd BS, 19th BG Java Feb 7, 1942, and returned to USA Oct 23, 1942. Finally, she was reduced to spares July 15th, 1946.
#00059 In Hut 16 at Nuthampstead, T/Sgt Hoch of 38FS takes time out to write a letter home, 28th Mar '44. **
#00060 Wormingford, 12 May 1944. Red Cross doughnut girls were loved by almost everyone who cam in contact with them. They were always ready with a smile, and encouraging word and a simple presence of a woman in a man's world. This image is U.S. Red Cross girl Nelle Huse meeting 'new arrivals' of 55FG on its 1st day at its new base, Wormingford, 16th April '44. She provided coffee and doughnuts every morning to mechanics 'on the line'. (see also 04679) **
#00061 Just below the prop maintenance shops at Wormingford sat this windmill, built in that late 1700s England at war was a nation of contrast. Late May 1945. Picture #04757 shows this same windmill when the 55thFG first arrived. In that shot, the broken blade was still intact. The winter of '44-'45 was harsh enough to take its toll. (see also 04757)**
#00062 Iron monger's wagon passing through Colchester. house. Dups at 04748, 04826 **
#00063 Bull Hotel (Red Cross). Cambridge.
#00064 BOB HOPE introduces dancer Patty Thomas at a fighter base in England in 1944, during one of Bob's numerous overseas USO jaunts. Hope and his band seemed to be everywhere at once, doing more for morale than an army of entertainers. There was nothing more popular than Bob Hope's touring USO show which made its way across the globe through all theaters of war. As Bob Sand recalled, "Bob Hope's pen-up girls got more attention from GIs than Bob Hope..."Gee, they looked good!" [Rescan for better image] **
#00065 The 55th Group mess hall during lunch at Wormingford, 7 May 1944. Upper non-coms were issued bikes but the lower-ranking enlisted men had to buy theirs. Great color shot of dozens of bikes parked outside the main mess hall at Wormingford! Apart from showing a lot of potentially hungry ground crew, it also shows the invaluable necessity of the bicycle on such large airfields. **
#00066 GIs in local pub.
#00067 Woman in front of Chirchill Club British? B9 women
#00068 J Rainbow Corner', Red Cross Club, Shaftsbury Ave, just off Picadilly Circus, London. This was more for the officers only, and only minutes away was the 'The Stage Door Canteen' were the enlisted spend a lot of R & R.
#00069 Home for 55th FG ground crewman Sgt. Bob Sand, top bunk at Wormingford. **
#00070 Nelle Huse wares an officer's sheepskin jacket. She was already a widow, having lost her husband in action in the South Pacific. Nelle died shortly after attending a 55th reunion with Jan and Jack Monaghan. Jan worked tirelessly for the U.S. Red Cross ensuring the 55thFG mechanics 'on the line' were well supplied with coffee & doughnuts. Pictured in the harsh winter of '44-'45. A servicemen's jacket has been donated to her for the cold. **
#00071 This is a 38th FS, P38H, returning to 'stand' early evening at Nuthampstead, after a mission in 1943. Dup at 04710 **
#00072 Sgt Don Allen crew chief & Lt. Marvin Arthur, by their airplane, P-51D 'Davey Lee' - 'QP-U' ser# 44-13984. Don Allen was an artist of some repute with the 4thFG and was responsible for the majority of the great artwork that appeared on many of the groups planes during the war. This plane was originally painted as 'Meg' (see picture 00169) and designated 'QP-B', when allocated to Lt. Boretsky. However, when she was passed to Lt. Arthur it was repainted and redesignated in the allocation roster. In any event, this plane of many guises survived the war. Bonds between ground crews and pilot became strong in spite of the distinct divisions the Army made between enlisted men and officers. Crew Chief Sgt. Don Allen and pilot Lt. Marvin Arthur, 4th Fighter Group, stand in front of their "Davy Lee", named after Arthur's son. Allen had crewed the Mustang during Clarence Boretsky's entire tour, when it was named "Meg", then repainted the nose art for Arthur and stayed on as crew chief. Ground crews came to have an uncanny ability for keeping their aircraft in top shape. **
#00073 Lt. Col. Everett W. Stewart helps a passenger strap into the 4th Fighter Group's first two-seater Mustang at Debden. This war-weary P-51B, converted by T.Sgt. Woody Jensen, carried all three squadron colors on the rudder and WD-2 on the side. It was a huge success with ground crew, not to mention girlfriends smuggled in by pilots who wanted to make the ultimate impression. This aircraft was also used for essential combat training.
#00074 Photograph of a 38thFS pilot Capt. Jerry Ayers having been helped out of his P-38H 'Mountain Ayers' ser#42-67077 - 'CG-Q', after mission from Nuthampstead late 1943. This picture was taken immediately after his mission of 29th November, when he claimed his first kill. **
#00075 A 62nd Squadron, 56th Fighter Group P-47D is getting a thorough going over before its next mission over enemy territory. All eight machine guns have been removed for servicing and ammo sits ready to be loaded from the wooden boxes in front of each wing and the fuel truck is running. Soon the drop tanks will be hung and the fighter will be ready. This very colorful plane was lost 18th December 1944 with pilot Lt. Wilburn A. Haggard becoming POW. ** 62nd Squadron, 56th Fighter Group P-47D is getting a thorough going over before its next mission over enemy territory. All eight .machine guns have been removed for servicing and ammo sits ready to be loaded from the wooden boxes in front of each wing and the fuel truck is running. Soon the drop tanks will be hung and the fighter will be ready. (JE)
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