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My Boys Hanger
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mortman2004
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Post Post subject: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:07 AM
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Here Is the 2nd WW2 Fighter in my sons hanger.LoL. Well hanging From his bedroom ceiling that is. And a little history ive managed to dig up On the internet about this war bird and its pilot. Capt Donald Emerson. Im going to be helping his collection along. My son has been an avid airplane buff since Our visit to the smithsonian air and space museaum. When I was stuck rehabing my leg at Walter Reed Army hospital last summer. and He loves airshows and air museuams. Hopefully this summer we will see the Air Force Museaum at Wright Patterson, Air Force Base, In ohio. He also loves helping daddy fly in Il-2 and breaking Joysticks...



History of the Donald Duck:
In 1942 Donald Emerson was a 19-year-old North Dakota boy who chose military service over farming. One year after graduating from high school in Karlstad, Minnesota, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Just as he was finishing up training as an armorer, the age and education requirements for aviation cadets were lowered; he immediately filed his application and was soon classified cadet/pilot. By the end of 1943 he was ready for combat flying as a fighter pilot in a P-51 Mustang. In January, 1944, he sailed on the Ile de France to England where he was assigned to the Eighth Air Force's elite Fourth Fighter Group on March 9. This premier fighting unit had been formed around the earlier "Eagle Squadrons" of American pilots who voluntarily fought with the British before the U.S. entered the war. When Donald joined the group it was under the skilled leadership of 26-year-old Col. Donald J.M. Blakeslee--one of the finest air commanders in WWII. These men were about to make history as the highest scoring group in the war. Two of its top aces--John Godfrey and Don Gentile--were fast becoming stars in the media, with PR tours looming; another--Jim Goodson--the commanding officer of Donald's 336 squadron was being dubbed "King of the Strafers" by the press.

During his eight months of active duty with the 4th FG, Donald completed at least 89 combat missions, including D-Day operations and the Russia Shuttle missions. He most often flew into battle in his P-51 Mustang VF-B #413317, emblazoned with the whimsical but fearless image of Donald Duck--dukes up and fighting mad.

Donald said he was fighting so dreams could come true, and he said he had a few dreams of his own. He looked forward to postwar life when he hoped to make a career of flying, and he dreamed of going back home, of marriage and family, and of owning a house with a fireplace.

On Christmas Day, 1944, while flying another P-51 during the Battle of the Bulge, he was heading back to his base after a mission when he encountered six enemy planes. He managed to shoot down two of them, but as he crossed enemy lines flying close to the ground, he was struck by flak from anti- aircraft guns. His plane crashed in British-occupied territory in Belgium; it is believed that he died before his plane landed. He was buried the next day in a temporary military cemetery near Margraten, Holland, where his body is now permanently interred in the American Military Cemetery.

Capt. Donald R. Emerson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal, with additional clusters awarded to both, and posthumously, the Purple Heart. He was 21. -- Sandra D. Merrill, 1992.
Notes:
On his last mission, Captain Emerson had become separated from the group amidst a massive dogfight in heavy cloud cover. He had no distinct visual contact plus R/T contact with only some of his group as he took on six E/A - Outnumbered by six Fw 190 german fighters, Capt. Emerson managed to shoot down two in a turning fight before running out of ammunition but eluding the others in the clouds. His last message heard was that he was on the deck, and going home. Crew Chief Glesner "Weck" Weckbacher would not take part in the Christmas festivities of 1944 as he sat on a case of ammunition until dark while waiting for his pilot to return.
Quote From Captain Emerson:
"This new P-51 is really a flying engine with all that horse power. The P-47 may have more H.P. but it's also twice as heavy. The P-51 is a very small plane. I'd fit into it nicely (Ha). It has a little sign in the cockpit which says - 'Do not exceed air speed of 500 M.P.H.' Hot Dog!" -- Donald Emerson in Basic Flight Training, July 26, 1943


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Last edited by mortman2004 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:25 AM; edited 1 times in total
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lochnagar
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Post Post subject: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:39 PM
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Thanks for the little bit of history of one (of the millions) of men who served. Hearing a bit of their story personalizes their service and sacrifices. Especially of one who didn't make it home.


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club300+
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Post Post subject: Re: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:18 PM
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Great story, Mort.

One of the reasons that make me glad
I've joined in this forum, is the stories
of WWII airmen, people post from time
to time.

BTW thanks a bunch for the K, the other day.

James


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wgvette
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Post Post subject: Re: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 07:17 AM
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Thanks for the post. Always great to hear the stories of all those who served (regardless of which side). So, they won't be forgoten.

wg


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wheelsup_cavu
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Post Post subject: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 07:58 AM
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Hi Mortman2004

Thank you for posting the history of this pilot.
It made for an interesting, yet sad story.
I know you posted this a while back but a story like this does not have a time limit for posting to me.
I hope others who have not seen this pilots history feel the same way when this thread is revived.

~S!~

Wheelsup


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mortman2004
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Post Post subject: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 08:53 AM
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Thank you


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Beebop
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Post Post subject: Re: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 09:13 AM
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Somehow I missed this the first time around.

Thanks to everyone who bumped this thread. Wheels, thanks for this latest bump. It deserves it.

Mortman, thanks for posting it. As said by others, true stories of those who fought are timeless and need to be remembered lest we forget the sacrifices they made and lest we forget how terrible war is by taking prematurely those heroic men and women.

Good job folks.


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TeamCF
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Post Post subject: Re: My Boys Hanger
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 06:49 PM
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I must have missed it too.

Thank you for sharing a pilot's story and a wonderful pic of a detailed creation of yours.


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