P47 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "B"
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
John C. (Jack) Beeks Received Pilots Wings and Commission at Moore Field, Texas on August 30, 1943; Class 43H. After P-47 training was assigned to the 85th Fighter Squadron of the 79th Fighter Group, Twelfth Air Force. Engaged mostly in dive bombing and strafing of bridges, trains, gun emplacements, fuel and ammo dumps and airfields.
Leonard R. Bennett He arrived England April 1944, assigned to the 10th Fighter Squadron 50th Fighter Group. He flew 21 missions, then spent four months in the hospital. Then he returned back to the 10th, for another 80 missions or a total of 101. His squadron was assigned close support of the 1st and 3rd armored division and the 7th Army through France and Germany, destroying vehicles, trains, tanks and etc.
Harold A. Benson Operations consisted of scrambles, escorting Mitchell bombers on short diversionary raids across the channel and wing fighter sweeps. July and August spent in North Africa for Sicilian campaign, then posted to India in September. October, 1943 joined 146 R.A.F. Squadron flying Hurricane II's along the Arakan front, India-Burma border, later on the defense of Calcutta and Madras.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Donald G. Bergquist In late July, 1944, while still operating out of Ashford in Kent, 36 of us, armed with two 500 pounders each, went in on a low-level bombing mission to destroy a strategic bridge in Chartres, France. The objective was to destroy the abutment. Being a 2nd Lt., I was tail-end Charlie on the mission. At about 400 knots and level with the bridge, and coming in at 45 °, I had just released my two 500 pounders when I felt like I had suddenly been hit in the head with a baseball bat.
Esther D. Berner The WASP training school started in Houston Nov. 1942. I was in the 3rd class (43-W,which started in Jan. 1943. I graduated July 3rd and was sent to the Air Transport Command, Ferrying Division, 2nd Ferrying Group, Wilmington, Del. Received my pursuit training at Brownsville, Texas in early 1944.
J. Rayburn Bertrand They moved to Duxford Air Field south of Cambridge, England and flew their first combat mission in April 1943 in P-47 Thunderbolts. In late May 1943 Bert flew his 89th combat mission after completing an additional volunteer tour. As with most of the 8th Fighter Command the combat missions were varied and consisted of bomber escorts, fighter sweeps, dive bombing, drive bombing, strafing etc.
Malcolm G. Beverly On an escort job to Mytkina when a S.E.A.C. V.I.P- was to meet with members of Vinegar Joe Stillwell's staff, we had already converted to the Jug D's with the "bubbly canopy." The American squadron at Mytkina still had razor-backs and were most upset that the R.A.F. had the later model "Jugs" ahead of them. They had not at that time seen a bubbly canopy Jug. We were offered many cartons of "Lucky Strikes" and "Chesterfields" in exchange for a T.Bolt D.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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