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.
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.
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.
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 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.
In the above five frames, the photographer was apparently trying to catch some B-17 bombers taking on a mission.
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)
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.
This is a USAAF official photograph of the same event showing the opposite side of the plane.
CLICK HERE to view the
from the other negative file from this same photographer.
Look at the bazookas on that little honey!
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
For others in the AAF Bassingbourn series see also
The P-61 Black Widow
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.
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THE KIDS 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.