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339th Fighter Group Gallery


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Lt. Stephen C Ananian, New York NY, 505th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-14734 P-51D 6N-K "Baby Mine". “Baby Mine” seen on 28 March 1945 and looking very sorry for itself. This belly-landing took place 3 miles SE of Colchester when Lt. Bill Guyton, who was flying it at the time, experienced engine failure.

Photo: Lt. Steve Ananian

Interestingly, it is a photograph of this crash that appeared in Roger Freeman’s “The Mighty Eighth” and led to the name being given as “Baby Max”. The view in question showed the crumpled skinning to the cowling section, so that the word “Mine” was distorted. The same publication is also responsible for the erroneous depiction of yellow rudders for 505th FS aircraft. Yellow was certainly the designated colour for the 505th but the pilots did not like the connotation of being “yellow tailed” and so it was never applied. The error was perpetuated by the choice of this illustration and its accompanying profile by the artist Keith Hill for his painting “Return to Fowlmere”. Unfortunately, updates cannot easily be made to published works or artwork!

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peter.randall@littlefriends.co.uk