Tuesday, October 7, 2014

AAF at Bassingbourn - The P-51 Mustang


In the basement of an "antique store" these two books of 35mm negatives were found. They were destined for the dumpster no doubt, but rescued for LOST GALLERY and the enthusiasts who treasure the history and memorabilia of the second world war.

The first book of contains 327 negatives. The photographs were scanned and uploaded to a set on Flickr in 2007 and then grouped generally by subject for the pages of LOST GALLERY. Most of the photographs in this set are of aircraft in world war two. Nothing was known for sure about the photographs but slowly over the years some information has accumulated. It was established that the date for most of the photographs is late 1944.

Most of the negatives had notations on the accompanying index pages. Mostly the photographer was concerned about the lighting and exposure of each frame but occasionally also made notes on the subject matter. Where possible these notations will be included under each picture on this page.

The 205 negatives in the other file were taken postwar, about half in England and the rest in Texas, USA. The photographs apparently show a bit of touring before leaving the England based AAF unit and the first photographs after arriving in Texas.

Negative files

This page will review all of the negatives in the set that feature the P-51 Mustang and the information that has accumulated since 2007.

All images are the property of
Lost Gallery
and the author. Permission must be granted for their use.
All rights reserved.


All of these photographs have been posted on Flickr and on LOST GALLERY blog for over 6 years now. This updated posting adds the accumulated comments about them that add insight and information about the aircraft, the times and people.

If you have additional information to add, please do.

P51s parked 33 01
P51s parked

P51s parked 33 04
P51s parked
P51s f4.5 60th sec. 02
P51s f4.5 60th sec.

P51s f4 5 60 03
P51s f4 5 60
P51s B17s lite haze over sun 05
P51s B17s lite haze over sun

P51s B17s lite haze over sun 06
P51s B17s lite haze over sun
P51 B17 f9 30 lite cloud over sun no shadow 06
P51 B17 f9 30 lite cloud over sun no shadow

From D. Sheley on Flickr: Really cool photo. It's a group shot of 505th FS, 339th FG P-51's. I've been able to ID some of them,from front to back.

"Pistol Packin' Mama" flown by Capt. Evan Johnson

"Junior" flown by Lt. Jay Marts

"Umbriago" flown by Capt. William Krauss,this aircraft was lost on Feb. 6,1945 while flown by Lt. Gilbert Palmer,he was KIA.

4th in line I can't identify

"Bison Bull" flown by Capt. Chester Malarz,this aircraft was lost on Oct. 5,1944 while being flown by Lt. Stephen Ananian,he survived.

The aircraft parked tail out is "Miss E.T.O." and was flown by either Lt. Roland Gousie or Lt. George Jones,they were both assigned the plane during their tours.

From Gerry Asher on Flickr: New camera position = additional info. Third ship down, "Umbriago," is P-51D 44-14383 (coded 6N-H) assigned to CAPT William H. Krauss of the 505th Ftr Sq, 339th FG. It was lost 6 February 1945; LT Gilbert G. Palmer was KIA.

P51s f4 5 60 05
P51s f4 5 60
P51s f4.5 60th sec. 01
P51s f4.5 60th sec.

P51s f4 5 60 04
P51s f4 5 60
P51s f6 3 40 01
P51s f6 3 40

P51s parked 34 03
P51s parked
P51s parked 34 02
P51s parked

From D. Sheley on Flickr: This is another view of P-51's from the 505th Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group. I can only identify the two nearest the camera. The closest is "Umbriago" S/N 44-14383 coded 6N-H that was flown by Capt. William Krauss. The second plane in line is "Junior" S/N 44-14239 coded 6N-J that was flown by Lt. Jay Marts. This photo is of the same planes as another one of this set but from a different angle.

The third P-51 in line, with the Malcolm hood, is a C model with the S/N 42-103955 and coded 6N-G. As far as I can tell it was never named and didn't have an assigned pilot.

P51s parked 33 03
P51s parked
P51s parked 33 02
P51s parked

P51s parked 34 06
P51s parked
P51s parked 34 05
P51s parked
P51s parked 34 01
P51s parked 34 04
P51s parked

The photographer often took more than one shot at some scenes.


P51s B17s lite haze over sun 03
P51s B17s lite haze over sun
P51s B17s lite haze over sun 04
P51s B17s lite haze over sun

From Gerry Asher on Flickr: No splattering, just peeling paint. 339th FG at Fowlmere, not far from the 91st BG at Bassingbourn. Given the B-17 tails in the background, the photo was probably taken at the latter.


From D. Sheley on Flickr: I believe the number on the tail is 16259,with the 1 being really hard to see. That would make this planes serial number 41-6259. This plane has a really interesting history,what I've found so far. It served with two operational fighter groups,the 78th FG and then the 56th FG. It was declared as 'War Weary' and converted to a 2-seat configuration and used for liason duties out of Debden. Then she went to a rescue group,just like Shabby said. When it was still being used as a fighter it was assigned to these pilots (although others probably flew her too).

Major Harold Stump from the 84th Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group. The plane carried the squadron code WZ-C and was named "Bad Medicine".
Capt. Glen Schiltz from the 63rd FS, 56th FG. The plane carried the squadron code UN-V and don't know if it was named.

A serial number search says this plane crashed at Church Broughton,England on Jan. 19,1944 and was condemned as missing on Oct. 31,1944. I'm still going to keep researching this and hopefully Shabby can add some more.

P51 P47 f9-40th sec. brite thru haze gel filt 01
P51 P47 f9 40 brite thru haze gel filt
P51 P47 f9-40th sec. brite thru haze gel filt 01
P51 P47 f9 40 brite thru haze gel filt

P51s parked  med yel filter 02
P51s parked med yel filter
P51s cub op tent 01
P51s cub op tent

P51s parked  med yel filter 04
P51s parked med yel filter 04
P51s parked  med yel filter 01
P51s parked med yel filter

P51s parked  med yel filter 38 02
P51s parked med yel filter
P51s parked med yel filter 03
P51s parked med yel filter

P-51 B-17 f9-30th sec.  lite cloud over sun no shadow 02
P-51 B-17 f9-30th sec. lite cloud over sun no shadow
P51 B17 f9 30 lite cloud over sun no shadow 04
P-51 B-17 f9-30th sec. lite cloud over sun no shadow

P51 B17 f9 30 lite cloud over sun no shadow 05
P-51 B-17 f9-30th sec. lite cloud over sun no shadow
P51 B17 f9 30 lite cloud over sun no shadow 01
P-51 B-17 f9-30th sec. lite cloud over sun no shadow

P51 B17 f9 30 lite cloud over sun no shadow 03
P-51 B-17 f9-30th sec. lite cloud over sun no shadow

In the above five frames, the photographer was apparently trying to catch some B-17 bombers taking on a mission.




P51 Crash Long shot 01
P51 Crash Long shot
P51 Crash Long shot 02
P51 Crash Long shot 02
P 51 Crash f6.3 100th sec. 1530hrs GMT 01
P 51 Crash f6.3 100th sec. 1530hrs GMT

I believe this a plane named "Esther" from the 504th Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, S/N 44-14321 that crashed while on take off on Feb. 5,1945. The pilot was Lt. Vernon Barto. (doughsheley)

LT Vernon N. Barto, 504th Ftr Sq, 339th FG, suffered an engine failure just north of the 91st BG base at Bassingbourn, and put the crippled ship down on Church Farn near Wendy. (g.asher)
Subject: P51 "Esther"
Location: Near Wendy, UK.
Date est.: 5 February 1945 (g.asher)


P51 Crashed f6.3 100th sec. superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT 01
P51 Crashed f6.3 100th sec. superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT 02
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT

P 51 Crash f6 3 100 1530hrs GMT 04
P 51 Crash f6 3 100 1530hrs GMT

P 51 Crash f6.3 100th sec 15:30hrs GMT 03
P 51 Crash f6.3 100th sec 15:30hrs GMT

P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT 05
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT
P 51 Crash f6 3 100 1530hrs GMT 02

P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT 03
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT 04
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT

P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT 06
P51 Crashed f6 3 100 superxx brite sun 1530 hours GMT

From reader Brian Schwarting: Actually, Veron N. Barto is my grandfather (deceased). The name of the plane he usually flew was the "Lou N Sue". Named so because my grandmother's name 'Lucielle' (still living) and his first daughter 'Sue' whom he had yet to meet until after the war.

Esther/B (Barbara)
This is a USAAF official photograph of the same event showing the opposite side of the plane.


CLICK HERE to view the
POSTWAR PHOTOGRAPHY
from the other negative file from this same photographer.

Look at the bazookas on that little honey!
multiple bazookas installed on cub 03
Click here for the whole story!

Here are more stories about the 91st Bomber Group and some of the missions flown on a fine website by
Sam Halpert

For others in the AAF Bassingbourn series see also
The P-61 Black Widow
B-17 Bomber
The Lancaster Bomber
P-51 Mustang (This one)
The Avro York
The Short Stirling Bomber
The Piper Cub with the Bazookas
And Miscellaneous personnel and landscapes
Bassingbourn from a Window on the base.

The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group, An album of the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
One Man's Treasure
Penny Tales
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
FOUND PHOTOGRAPH
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
THE DAILY POSTCARD.
POSTCARDY

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one. It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"

8 comments:

  1. What a great find! It's very impressive that so much information can be deciphered from the photos. Do you think this was the work of an amateur or professional photographer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mike Brubaker. Well, he was at least a semi-pro. In the set there are ten photographs where he is seen in the frame, including one selfie which told us which camera he was using. It was a Leica 3a, not an inexpensive camera for the time.. I am trying to divide up the photographs into subjects and present them page by page. It is a startling collection when one thinks what was going on in the winter of 1944. There was much information gleaned from the couple dozen photographs of the B-17s and other planes he caught with his camera. All of the photographs can be viewed in a Flickr set here:
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/49024304@N00/sets/72157608125792619/

      Delete
  2. Wow, these would be real topics of discussion at the WW2 Pilots luncheon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tattered and Lost. You are right. And I have had several notes from people who tell me they had relatives that flew in one or another of the planes in this set.

      Delete
    2. Awesome conservation effort. These photos were obviously taken by a pro.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Joseph Stevenson. I'm glad I found these negatives.

      Delete
  3. Great conservancy work. the pics have photographers technical data on f stop and time of apperture opening, great work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. The camera data was just about the only information there was on these.

      Delete

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