82nd Fighter Squadron. P-47D 42-8476 MX-X "Little Demon". John Zachary has written on the back of this photo "Bassett seeing Ulerick off" which means that there is a possibility that S/Sgt. Gaston H Bassett was crew chief for more than one a/c. The time span for this photo can be set between February 1944 when Ulerick joined the squadron and 17 March 1944 when he crash-landed this a/c at RAF Witchford, severely burning himself in the process. Little Demon was originally named by Maj. Walter C Beckham of the 353rd FG's 351st FS and it obviously retained the name when transferred to the 78th FG. When assigned to Maj. Beckham, it wore the code YJ-X.
The 78th Fighter Group was initially based at Goxhill but moved to Duxford in April 1943 and stayed there until October 1945. It flew all three of the USAAF's principal fighters. On D-Day every available Thunderbolt provided air cover to the Allied...
Military | Staff Sergeant
Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot
Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Crashed while attempting to land at RAF Witchford after experiencing a fuel leak during a local gunnery training flight on 17-Mar-44 in P-47D 42-8476 'Little Demon'. Returned to Duty (RTD). Transferred to ?
Assigned to 351FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Major Walter C Beckham. Transferred to 78FS, 82FG, 8AF USAAF. Crashed Mar-44 - Lt Estel Ulerick severely burned on test flight. RAF Witchford. Cat 4 damage. Written Off.
Military site : airfield
RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...