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361st Fighter Group Gallery


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The caption that came with this one just said "Mac and Bill Street". Mac is at present unknown as the photo was obviously taken after the end of hostilities. Lt. William H Street was the pilot of 44-63167 E2-W "Weeping Willie" but the important thing about this photo is that it shows part of Col. Landers' "Big Beautiful Doll" and is the only photo that I know of so far, showing the "Doll" in 361st FG markings. Plese see enlargement for more details.

Photo: Jack Johnston

44-72218 E2-I "Big Beautiful Doll". There has always been a degree of conjecture over this a/c with the 361st FG. All that has been established previously is that when Col. John D Landers was transferred from the 78th FG in June 1945, he brought with him his P-51D 44-72218 WZ-I. This a/c was recoded to E2-I and the red outlined black and white 78th checkers changed to the yellow nose of the 361st. Noticeable in this photo is that the name panel now has the "Lt.Col." changed to "Col." and the background colour changed to red. Thanks to research by Craig Quattlebaum and Jack Johnson it has been established that the canopy rail was painted in the medium blue of the 375th FS along with the rudder and wing tips. As can be seen, the original "Big Beautiful Doll" was retained as was the scoreboard.

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peter.randall@littlefriends.co.uk