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Gabreski's P-47 - HELP!!!!


Jon Lake
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I'm looking to try and find out what was on the name panel on Gabreski's final P-47.

 

It's the red-outlined white panel with black writing in front of the kill tally. 

 

(I see that some decals show it as yellow!)

 

From pictures of Robert Johnson's aircraft I'm guessing that it reads something like:

 

PILOT: CAPT.FRANCIS GABRESKI

CREW: MSGT STAN LAUREL

SSGT OLIVER HARVEY

ARM: PFC BUSTER KEATON

 

I'd be very grateful for any guidance!

 

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First a correction, "Oliver Hardy" would be the name if it's a reference to the comedy team. Having written that, it's not clear to me the text in the photo is consistent with those names. For example, the last name appears longer that Gabreski's. I took a look at the Techmod sheets, but the online images are not quite readable and again don't appear to support that.

 

Not sure I was helpful. :shrug:

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A bit of searching found this 

 

https://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/65786

 

which has a photo (#28 in the carousel) of Gabreski and his ground crew, which has the following caption

 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, ace pilot of the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, stands with the ground crew who keep his P-47 Thunderbolt in fit shape for combat. They are, from left to right, Crew Chief Staff Sergeant Ralph H. Safford, Assistant Crew Chief Corporal Felix Schacki and armorer Sergeant Michael Di Franza. Printed caption on reverse of print: '53456 AC - Col. Gabreski poses with his ground crew for a picture just after returning from a mission over France. The Col. is commanding officer of his squadron, is the leading ace of the USAAF with 38 German planes to his credit. He holds the Air medals with 3 clusters, DFC with 7 clusters and the Polish Cross of Valor. He formerly flew with the Polish Squadron of the RAF. Left to right: S/Sgt. R. H. Stafford, Ionia, Michigan, crew chief; Cpl. Felix Schacki, Gary, Ind., Asst. crew chief; Sgt. Michael Di Franza, East Boston, Mass., armorer; Lt. Col. Francis S. Gabreski, Oil City, Pa. England"

 

That may or may not be of use. 

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