Staff Sergeant Sylvester Walker and an unknown airman of the 56th Fighter Group with a butchered pig on a bomb truck, taken at Colchester, 1944. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'S/Sgt. S. Walker + Pig - 1944. Walker on right. 56 FG.'
Photograph referenced in Zemke 56FG documents file, Roger Freeman Collection; letter from Sylvester Walker to Roger Freeman, 1985. Walker and his friend Sergeant B.G. Moore won the young pig at a raffle in Colchester and sought permission from Colonel Hubert Zemke to keep him on the (air) field. Zemke's response was that if they got caught keeping the animal on the base he would not know anything about it.
Walker built a pig pen with bomb crates and fed the animal with leftovers from the mess hall. Once the pig had grown, Walker and his friend approached a local butcher to ask him to distribute the meat to people he might know who were in need of the food, but they were told this would be against regulations and endured a long lecture about people's food stamps (meat coupons). However, the butcher agreed to help, if Walker and his friend butchered the pig themselves, which they then did once back at their base.
The bomb truck photographed was used to transport the pig to the butcher in Colchester, prior to the meat being distributed to locals in need. Walker and his friend received a number of thank you cards for their gesture. The man in the photograph remains unidentified; Walker states this was not Sergeant Moore.
IWM catalogue record
This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.
Staff Sergeant Sylvester Walker and an airman of the 56th Fighter Group with a butchered pig, 1944. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'S/Sgt. S. Walker + Pig - 1944. Walker on right. 56 FG.'
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...