P-51D Mustang “Bad Angel” of the 4th Fighter Squadron assigned to Capt Louis Curdes, Feb 1945. Note the interesting scoreboard. See Comment.

Caption   P-51D Mustang “Bad Angel” of the 4th Fighter Squadron assigned to Capt Louis Curdes, Feb 1945. Note the interesting scoreboard. See Comment. ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives via D. Sheley
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P-51 Mustang   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 18 Jan 2013

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
18 Jan 2013 12:48:52 AM

“Kit” Curdes first flew P-38 Lightnings in Italy in 1944 where he shot down 7 German aircraft and 1 Italian airplane. He was shot down, captured, escaped, recaptured, and escaped again before finally making it back to Allied lines. He was sent to the US on leave but he volunteered to fly again. He was sent to the 3rd Air Commando Group in the Philippines flying P-51D Mustangs. He shot down a Ki-46 “Dinah” torpedo bomber on Feb 7 1945 making him one of only three Allied aces to have shot down planes from each of the three Axis Powers. Three days later, as he was strafing a small island Japanese airstrip, he saw a US C-47 Skytrain on final approach as if to land at the Japanese base. Curdes tried several ways to signal the pilot, including firing warning shots, but the transport did not divert. Feeling he had no other choice, Curdes carefully shot out both C-47 engines, forcing it to ditch in the sea short of the enemy held island. Everyone aboard the C-47 survived but had to spend the night in their raft before being picked up the next morning by a PBY Catalina. When Curdes saw the list of survivors, he was shocked to see that among the C-47 passengers was the same nurse he had dated the night before. Although Curdes became the only USAAF pilot to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down another US plane, he was not allowed to formally claim the C-47 as a “kill,” thus denying him the rarified title of Double-Ace. The US flag appears on “Bad Angel’s” scoreboard nonetheless.
2. Anonymous says:
17 Jul 2016 01:49:20 PM

Could someone please advise why the C-47 pilot was going to land on an enemy-held airstrip? Thx!
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
18 Jul 2016 12:15:10 PM

To Anonymous above:
Apparently the C-47 pilot mistook the Japanese airstrip for his destination airstrip (he may have been a little lost).

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