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Capt Don Gentile's P-51 Mustang 'Shangri-La' awaits its pilot at Debden for its final mission - 13 April 1944.
By the end of the afternoon, this famous aircraft would be broken in two and Gentile would be on his way home for a war bond tour.

The Airspeed Oxford parked behind the Mustang was the 4th Fighter Group's heavy communications and liaison aircraft. Coded as AS 728, it was used to haul vital spares from VIII Air Service Command depots to Debden when parts were needed urgently.

Connections

Units

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Group
    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...

People

  • Dominic Gentile

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot
    Don Gentile was born on December 6, 1920, to Italian parents in Piqua, Ohio. As a boy, he had always been fascinated with flying and built, as his mother remembered, hundreds of model airplanes. Don used to say to his mother, “I hope someday I'll be...

Aircraft

  • 43-6913 'Shangri-La'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Dominic 'Don' Gentile. He claimed 7.5 of his 21 victories in this aircraft. Don Gentile crashed this A/C whilst displaying to reporters after his final mission at his home base Debden on 13-Apr-44.

  • AS 728

    Oxford
    This aircraft was the 4th Fighter Group's heavy communications and liaison aircraft. It was used to haul vital spares from VIII Air Service Command depots to Debden when parts were needed urgently.

Locations

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2019 06:59:04 David Armstrong Changes to caption
Sources

Changed 'was' bond to 'war' bond from the second sentence of the first paragraph..

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 10:49:24 apollo11 Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Personal research & 4th Fighter Group 'Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz.

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