1st Lt. Robert C. Thoman, Rochester, NY, who recently shot down an Me-109, examines the cockpit of a similar enemy plane at a former Luftwaffe field as fellow 9th AF Republic P-47 Thunderbolt pilots look on. The pilots were given the opportunity to see at first hand many German aircraft which they have previously encountered in aerial combat or while strafing enemy fields when their group moved east of the Rhine to their second German airfield. 15 enemy planes of several types were found on the abandoned base.
L-R: Capt Paul A Van Cleef - Salina, KS, 1st Lt Thomas Manjak - Ambridge, PA, 1st Lt James L McWhorter - Sanford, FL, 2nd Lt Sherman E Price - Caplinger Mills, MO, 1st Lt John W Wise - Prosser, WA, 1st Lt. Robert C Thoman in cockpit. All are members of 365FG.
The Group moved to England in December 1943 as part of the Ninth Air Force. Flying P-47s, the Group took part in missions over northern France designed to weaken Germany's ability to repulse the planned Allied invasion of summer 1944. After the...
Military | Major | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine
Flight leader 386th FS 94 missions 2 air kills.
Flew in Korean War F-51D Mustangs 57 missions 1 probable kill shot down and badly wounded but rescued on April 2, 1951.
P-47D s/n 44-19734 D5+N "Short Arm"
Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot
Lt Col Paul L Van Cleef, USAF (Ret), flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt in the 365th Fighter Group, 387th Fighter Squadron from December 1943 until the end of the war in 1945. He was stationed at Gosfield, Essex, England in December 23, 1943 and moved...