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Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts

LT Julio Nuno, daughter Julie, wife Elva
LT Julio Nuno, daughter Julie, wife Elva
LT Julio Nuno, daughter Julie, wife Elva

A successful mission, but for the loss of a father

The weather was good, for Northwest Europe, on February 9, 1945. The only climate-related information that was reported was cloud cover at 12,000 to 14,000 feet. The P-51 Mustangs of the 20th Fighter Group left their base at Kingscliffe, England early that morning. Their mission was to escort B-17s of the 1st Air Division to an oil industry target at Lutzkendorf, Germany. As was the standard operating procedure, the fighters were under orders to attack any targets they could along the way,...
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke

Caboose Blue Section

It was June 6, 1944. The 4th Fighter Group, flying the P-51 Mustang, was on a fighter sweep over Northern France in support of the D-Day landings taking place that day. No one saw the Mustang, piloted by 1st LT Harold L. Ross, Jr., of Greensboro, NC, go down. The only description of his last mission came from 1st LT Ralph K. "Kidd" Hofer, himself shot down and killed less than a month later, on July 2, 1944. “I was leading ‘Cobweb Red Section.’ We were split up due to abortives, so...
Irving Smith Aviation Cadet
Irving Smith Aviation Cadet
Irving Smith Aviation Cadet
Irving Smith Aviation Cadet
Irving Smith Aviation Cadet
Irving Smith Aviation Cadet

The Last Pilot of the Last Ship in the Squadron

The intended mission of Lieutenant Roger Pagels’ P-51 of the 357th Fighter Group was a patrol of the area SW of Guernsey Island on June 6, 1944. P-51 tail # 43-6397 was one of three combat losses for the unit this day. Another flyer, Captain Paul K. De Vries, was the last to see this Mustang. “….Lt. ROGER E PAGELS was the pilot of the last ship in the Squadron formation. I saw Lt. PAGELS' ship take off. That was the last time anyone is known to have seen or heard from Lt....