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ThunderPigC130

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 #1 
Got this picture in an email as part of an advertisement for an airshow in england.

Anybody know the story?


Propeller.jpg 

Mtflyer

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 #2 
Found some info online, here’s the link http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/9699

Also found another photo, looks like the same plane.

01.jpg


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Joe Idoni

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ThunderPigC130

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 #3 
  Joe as usual you are an incredible researcher.  Yep, thats it, and here is the story:

'LUCKY WRIGHT'S ESCAPE Lt "Lucky" Edwin Wright, just over 19 yrs. old, just returned from his 39th mission- over Munster. He got hit by flak but continued on his mission dropped his bombs, did a spot of strafing and retuned. When he got back he found a hole 8ins. in diameter through his 11ins. diam prop blade, caused by a direct hit from an ack ack shell. If the shell had deviated an inch and a half either side, his blade would have severed and he would have been brought down. This is the 6th. time that Wright has been hit by Flak and is now known as “Lucky Wright”. He has 5 and a half months of combat to his credit and 39 missions. He belongs to a Republic Thunderbolt Squadron commanded by Major J Sherwood. Roger LIFE'

  If the pilot was "Just over" 19 with 39 missions this guy was probably flying combat missions at 18.  I could barely drive a car at that age HA.  What an incredible generation of men.

Thanks joe -
Dennis

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 #4 
Okay, so this one got me to thinking.  First, I found it amazing that the blade didn't separate or at the least bend forward.  But miracles do happen.
Then I considered:  This guy is "just over 19" - okay, make it 20, AND HE'S ALREADY A SECOND LIEUTENANT?????  Thought that required a 4 year degree?  Was he a 16 year old high school graduate?
Flew 88 combat missions.  Got out in 1946, but called back up for Korea.  Apparently his luck ran out because he died of cancer in 1959 at age 34.  Interesting story.  Dennis
ThunderPigC130

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 #5 
Thought that required a 4 year degree? "

  I dont think back then it required a degree.  I am far from the expert but i read chuck yeagers autobiography many years back and he got to be a pilot by going through what they called the "Flying sergeants program".  I dont think yeager ever went to college which is why he was never even considered for the astronaut program.

  Here is some more info on the flying sergeants program :

https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196406/1941-1945-world-war-ii-sergeant-pilots/

  PS - Dont know if you are a veteran or not dennis but 2nd LT is the lowest officer rank.  Entry level, qv.

Steve
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 #6 
I think the last flying sergeant retired from the USAF in 1958. Last of a breed.


Dennis

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 #7 
I didn't serve.  The draft was stopped 1 month before my 18th birthday, the Vietnam war had just wound down and most of the military was "One Way - OUT".  A bad report from one of my older brother's friends sealed the "no Army" deal (I didn't find out till 20 years later that he was a "jail or Army" deal and they often got "special treatment"). I am however aware of the ranks including "flying Sergeant", and "flight officer".  My father, who enlisted in 1940, applied to the Army Air Force in early 1942, and they were looking for college even then. 
Even if 2nd Lt is "entry level" for officers, for this guy to have gone through all the flight training, and been assigned to a combat unit, is still pretty amazing.  I believe even back then you had to be at least 16 years old to get a pilot's license.  There must be a very interesting background to this story.  Dennis
ThunderPigC130

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 #8 
  I always thought george bush ( Bush 41 ) held the title of 'Youngest naval aviator' at 19, but from this article looks like one guy beat him by about 11 days -

For years, former President George H.W. Bush, a TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber pilot, thought he was the youngest Naval Aviator of the war. But Downey has the President beat by 11 days, a fact the President has since acknowledged. 

 Downey was the tender age of 18 years, 11 months and 14 days when he earned his wings.

From:

http://oldnorthwestterritory.northwestquarterly.com/2013/07/the-youngest-naval-aviator-of-wwii/
Jimmie

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 #9 
A four-year college degree was not required for pilot training during WWII.  My dad was 19 years old when he enlisted and elected to serve in the Army Air Corps.  He was somehow selected for pilot training with just his high school diploma. I'm not sure of the details but he went to Tennessee for Officer orientation and then on to Primary Flight School.  He eventually got to pilot B-25's in the Pacific with the 345th Bomb Group completing 36 combat missions.  The need for pilots and aircrews was critical so they evaluated and selected for skill over education.
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