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361st Fighter Group Gallery


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Photographed on 26th July 1944, three P-51s from the 376th Fighter Squadron are joined by Group Commanding Officer Col. Thomas J. J. Christian Jr., Sulphur Springs, TX., in his P-51D 44-13410 E2-C “Lou IV”. Furthest from the camera is Lt. Robert R Volkman, Wilmington, DE., flying 44-13717 E9-D. Lt. Volkman had only joined the squadron earlier in July and had not yet been assigned his “Mary Jane II”. The other two aircraft in shot are P-51D 13763 E9-O assigned to Capt. Sam C Wilkerson Jr., Calderwood, TN., who would become a POW flying this aircraft on 4th August, and P-51B 42-106638 E9-R of Lt. Victor E Bocquin, Reading, KS. Both Volkman and Bocquin would survive their tour of duty and be promoted to Captain. Note that the theatre bands have been painted out on the fins/rudders and non-standard pattern olive drab camouflage paint applied to the top surfaces. (Or blue for those diehards who still believe that bright blue was a suitable camouflage colour for use if the unit was to move to France following the invasion).

Photo: Greg Volkman

 

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