List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Paul Bangiola He enlisted as an aviation cadet in the United States Army Air Corps, June 30, 1942. He commenced training with the class of 431, and graduated with the class of 43J, from Spence Field, Moultrie, Georgia. After operational training through the Third Air Force in Perry, Florida, he was transferred overseas and joined the 57th Fighter Group, 66th Fighter Squadron, Naples, Italy, whereupon he participated in the transfer of the group from Naples to Corsica, and the commencement of "Operation Strangle."
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
Joseph C. Bates Shortly thereafter transferred to Field Service Div. under Erwin Hoenes, as a Tech Rep, working with Ed Bigelow, George Dade and many other great guys, to provide pilots transferring to the P-47 from trainers, flying hours, instructing crew chiefs and airforce personnel on use and maintenance of P-47 (there are no bad airplanes, only bad maintenance!).
Walter C. Beckham Tried for Air Corps flying school. Flunked physical. Too skinny. Tried again. Still too skinny. - but lost height (bend the knee) and made it. No college work. So three very hard days of "mental" exams. "Graduated in class of 41I.
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.
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