Friday, March 2, 2012

The Old Crow Collection.

Richard Hallion, the Air Force Historian, says: "It is, I think, the finest pilot memoir of World War II and I have made it mandatory reading for all my historians."
"Time To Go To Work" by Dan Zoernig
The P-51 Mustangs of the 357th Fighter Group were normally cared for by a Crew Chief, Assistant Crew Chief and Armorer. This illustration honors all Crew Chiefs, Specialists and Support personnel. They worked relentlessly in the open, day or night, in all kinds of weather with great dedication in a trade equally as important as a pilot's ability. Without them there would be no flying. There were no eight-hour days as suggested by the flashlight carried by the chief on the right, for Britain's strict black-out precluded any other kind of lighting during the many nights of work preparing the Mustangs for the next days mission. Each of Bud Anderson's Old Crows had long combat lives in the 363rd Squadron. Never once in 116 combat missions did either ship abort or return early due to mechanical problems. Such a record is attributed to a pilot who did not abuse his aircraft and to the dedicated care of it's ground crew: T/Sgt Otto Heino, S/Sgt Melvin Schueneman, and S/Sgt Leon Zimmerman. S/Sgt Schueneman became a casualty of the war when he perished  in an AT-6 crash in January 1945 when returning from some field maintenance work in France.

Rock and a Hard Place by Gareth Hector
Depicts famous Mustang ace Bud Anderson in a life and death stalemate with a Bf-109 while directly in the path of an oncoming B-17 stream. Read this (p109) and other stories in Bud's book, "To Fly and Fight."

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