Raymond K. Gallagher

RAYMOND K. GALLAGHER, (SKEETS) born November 7, 1916; B.S. Degree - University of Illinois 1938; Flying School Class of 40-B. Started with P-47's in October, 1942 as C.O. of the 342nd Ftr Squad, 348th Ftr Gp. Our Squad was based at the old Bedford Airdrome (Now Hanscom AFB) near Boston. The rest of the group was based at Providence,R.I. We were the second P-47 Group to deploy to combat (the 356th was first to England).

We thought England was to be our destination, so based on some good intelligence, we had our supply office purchase 1,000 pairs of Silk Stockings in New York to use as "barter" material. Our group departed New York in April, 1943 in a large convoy which included our entire Fighter group and four destroyers and one Cruiser escort, and headed for England.

Three days out to sea the Captain was authorized to open his secret orders-they read- destination Brisbane!!! Thirty-one days later we arrived in Australia with the first P-47's in the Pacific. Needless to say our silk stockings didn't sell too well with the New Guinea natives.

Since we were the first allied radial engine fighters to enter the Southwest Pacific war, we decided to paint our tail sections all white. This proved to be a wise move as heretofore all radials were fair game for allied fighters.

When I left the Squadron to be Deputy Group C.O., we had 102 victories with only two losses. We had no engine failures during our first 50,000 hours of flying other than combat damage. Not bad for the old Jug and the great R-2800.

Returned to the ZI in October, 1944 and stayed with the Jug-Vice Commander at Seymour-Johnson where we had 200 Jugs in a Gunnery Training Program. Then deployed to gunnery school at Suffolk Co., N.Y. Closed Seymour then moved to Selfridge.

Flew some air shows with the 51st Group and then to a three year tour with the Guard at Nashville, Tenn. in 1947, with the 105th Ftr, probably the best flying I ever had. We had 28 Jugs always in commission. I formed and led an ACROBATIC team for three years; started with four Jugs, then a twelve ship act with a twelve ship formation loop (three diamonds). My original four ships included Dick White, left wing; Jay Ball, right wing; and Pee Wee Carter (Ret B.G.), slot. They are all still in Nashville. I believe we were the first to do the bomb burst - now famous with the T-Birds.

After the Korean War, where I was C.O. of the 8th Ftr Wing (F-80's) and had been out of prop types for a few years, I got talked into putting on a Jug acro act in Havana, Cuba for the Guard there. Damned near killed myself so quit Jugs for good after about 1700Jug hours total. Quite a bird. Flew jets for the next twenty years and retired at the end of 1969. Now a banker.

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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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