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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.'

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

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 Joe 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. Joe Di Franza, East Boston, Mass., armorer; Lt. Col. Francis S. Gabreski, Oil City, Pa. England.'

Connections

Units

  • 56th Fighter Group

    56th Fighter Group

    Group
    Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...

  • 61st Fighter Squadron

People

  • Michael Franza

    Military | Corporal (Technician Fifth Grade) | Works on P-47 thunderbolts (Engineer)
    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....

  • Francis Gabreski

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot
    Francis S Gabreski was the son of Polish immigrants to the US. He enlisted with the United States Army Air Corps in July 1940, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Reserve in March 1941 and was posted to Wheeler Field, Hawaii. ...

  • Ralph Safford

    Military | Enlisted Man

  • Felix Schacki

    Military | Enlisted Man

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 July 2016 09:39:28 Ben1705 Changes to caption
Sources

from caption

Date Contributor Update
14 July 2016 09:24:47 Ben1705 Changes to caption
Sources

from caption

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2014 15:22:49 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

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