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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:31 am 
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Here's a few interesting photos for a WIX member who is also the Historian for the 506th FG. Hopefully he can stop by and explain them better than I ever could. He also has an interesting story of a relative of his who was a member of the Sun Setters.

Always glad to help if I can. (I'll post a batch more later on today)
Photo sources: https://www.ww2online.org/image/america ... ma-1945-46

The “Sun Setters”, were the P-51 Mustang pilots of the 15th, 21st and 506th Fighter groups, VII Fighter Command based on Iwo Jima.
The first four photos below look to be a mix of different Iwo Jima FG mustangs. Not sure where the photos were taken or date, but it doesn't look to be Iwo.

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Here's a statement from the pilot of the first P-51 in this photo:
"I was in the 47th, and flew plane #172 “Clamwinkle McSlop” in 1945 on missions from Iwo Jima to Japan. The “V” in the tail was not black, but was a dark purple, with the outline in yellow. The bands around the wings and fuselage were also deep purple with yellow outlines. The anti-glare mat on the top of the engine cowling was flat black, not olive drab. I can also tell you that this was an ideal paint scheme, There were so many planes being replaced due to losses that sometimes they only had time to paint the star, and the “V” in the tail before being sent off."

Sincerely yours,
Donald L. Kiggins, Sr.



Below a beautiful shot of P-51D #556 "Boll Weevil" of the 506th Fighter Group in flight over Iwo Jima, 1945 flown by 1 Lt. Bennett C. Commer.

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Below a 'great big shot' of the entire island of Iwo Jima, post-invasion 1945.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:17 pm 
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The very first photo in your set appears to have been taken at Kagman Field on Saipan, Marianna Islands. It's definitely NOT Iwo Jima. Iwo has only one mountain... Mt. Suribachi which is a battered and vegetation free dormant volcano.

JDV
http://www.fuselagecodes.com


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:59 pm 
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Correct indeed, that's why I stated the first four photos do not look to be Iwo Jima. Although the last three photos possibly could be as stated in the link. Who know!?!, not me.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:11 pm 
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More Iwo Jima Aerials

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Looks to be an F-5 lightning over Iwo. Amazing how quickly the island developed.

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Aerial view of American military facility and Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, 1945

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The 506th FG was delivered by ship to Guam on March 17th 1945, a week later the unit flew to Tinian. 7 weeks of CAP and practice missions were flown while North Field on Iwo was prepared for their arrival. Finally on May 11, the 458th FG landed on Iwo. First combat missions didn’t occur until May 18th, flying defensive CAP, unfortunately that day the first casualty occurred when F/O John Cream was killed in a plane crash.

Japanese territory was finally the target on May 22nd when eleven aircraft bombed Chichi Jima. Followed by The first VLR mission to Japan for the 458th, occurring on 28 May 1945, attacking the Kasumigaura Airdrome on the Island of Honshu. The 506th Group tallied 50 Japanese planes destroyed or damaged on the airbase, while having no losses.

Black Friday, June 1, occurred when a large weather front was entered by all 3 Fighter groups, 15th, 21st and 506th, which 59 Mustangs were from the 506th. As a result 27 planes and 24 pilots were lost, on that day’s mission no plane was lost to fighters or ground fire. Headquarters lost Lt. Col. Harvey Scandrett and Capt. Edmund Crenshaw. The 458th lost the fewest of the 506th pilots; 2nd Lt. Thomas F. Kerrigan and 2nd Lt. Robert B. Harvey.

As a result of this loss of pilots, changes were made for future raids, specifically placing a single person in overall command of the airborne fighter groups and making sure a combat experienced “Sun Setter” was posted to the B-29 Weather Plane. It was found on that day’s mission the assigned fighter pilot had no combat experience.

In the end the 458th claimed 22 enemy aircraft shot down, with no aces, the highest scores of 2 enemy aircraft a piece came from 1Lt. Evan S. Stuart, 2Lt. Frank H. Wheeler, Capt. Peter Nowick, 1Lt. Harold G. Davidson and Capt. Richard W. Barnes. The 458thth in total, for the 22 effective VLR missions from May 28th to August 14, lost 29 aircraft and 20 pilots.

458th was commanded by: Maj. Harrison Shipman 10/44 to EOW.

458th FS P-51’s were assigned numbers 550 to 599 and were painted with 4 inch dark sea blue stripes on the rear fuselage vertical fins and stabilizer but not on the rudder or elevators. Replacement plane’s, began about mid-June, having their tails as solid colors, this in an effort to simplify the painting process and to have better identification of each fighter squadron. Original aircraft of the 458th were reported to have retained their stripes.

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Can't tell what FG those P-51's back there belong to.

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Three P-51 Mustangs of the 462nd Fighter Squadron, 506th Fighter Group patrolling off of Iwo Jima in the Western Pacific, in July 1945.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:11 pm 
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What was the "V in the tail" that the correspondent talking about above?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:32 am 
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The markings of 47th FS. It was probably adopted from P-47 markings from Hawaii period. Not quite symmetrical v-like geometric markings were painted on the fuselage, behind the cockpit.


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https://www.worldwarphotos.info/

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:18 am 
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Well, duh! Age related brain fart.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:29 am 
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Thanks for posting

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:13 pm 
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Here's another batch of mixed FS and FG Mustangs.

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A mix of 21st and 506th FG aircraft.

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Last edited by Mark Allen M on Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:16 pm 
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A batch of 15th FG P-47's

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:50 pm 
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What are the double antennas for behind the canopy?Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:15 pm 
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They were for the "Uncle Dog" AN/ARA-8 homing radio. A radio direction finder so they could navigate back to Iwo. I've seen other Mustangs in the post war era that also had them.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:38 pm 
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And for those with the "Uncle Dog" radio/antenna installation, the standard VHF AN-104 antenna mast for the SCR-522 radio was re-positioned from the spine of the aircraft down to below the rear-most engine cowling, just ahead of the wheel wells. Some late production Dallas-produced P-51D-30-NT Mustangs also came stock from the factory with that same radio/antenna setup, including a few that still survive/fly today, such as the Planes of Fame Air Museum's "Dolly" (which has the dual AS-148/ARA-8 masts on the spine reinstalled to the original mounts but lacks the AN-104 mast below the engine cowls (they tried it for a brief time, but the antenna wasn't staying secure), and Michael Bingham's "Stang Evil" (which has the AN-104 mast installed below the engine cowls, to its original mount, but lacks the dual masts on the spine (the original mounts are still there)).

These P-51D Mustangs also had the SCR-695 IFF radio set added as well, in-place of the battery behind the pilot, so that the battery was re-positioned to the engine compartment, requiring the vent scoop on the left-hand side of the engine cowling/wing root leading edge fairing on those aircraft. The antenna for the SCR-695 was a small rod that was mounted on the bottom of the wing, just aft of the right-hand wheel well. The detonator control and indicator lights box for the SCR-695 were mounted on the back of the armor plate headrests.

The "Uncle Dog" radio/antenna installation was also used on P-47N's.

Thank you Mark for sharing these excellent photos! I'm quite excited by the prospect of possibly seeing a newly rebuilt Mustang unveiled this year in 506th FG markings (unless the owner has since changed his mind).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:12 pm 
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Yeah, what he said.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:35 am 
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John, I was wondering where IFF set was placed on Mustang with standard battery configuration. Could it be the aft compartment, where AN/APS13 set was later installed?

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