Bill Spengler (center), pilot of P-51 Buzzin' Cuzzin, crew chief Staff Sergeant Deltner D Suess (Left) and armorer Cpl. Vernon C Nelson (Right).
78th FG 83rd FS. 1st Lt William B Spengler Duxford based from March 1945
In March 1945 1st Lt W.B. Spengler, Chicago, Illinois, flew 20 missions with 83rd FS. On 19th March 1945 he claimed 2 Me 109’s damaged in the vicinity of Osnabruck. His combat report states: “I was flying wing on Lt.Col. Landers at the time of the fight. He dived on an Me 109, called that he was going to over run him and for somebody to get on the “Jerry”. I was behind and slightly to the right of the e/a, and in position to fire. The 109 was turning left and I managed to get a few strikes at 20 degrees deflection before over running him. He was on fire before I opened fire.
I climbed to about 12,000 feet, joined up with White 3 & 4. We broke into two 109’s who were slightly above and to our right. Both split S’d and White four and I followed them down. I got quite a few strikes on him from astern and black smoke began to pour out of his engine. There was a flash of flame and it went out in a few seconds. The smoke continued to pour out and I continued my attack at sea level altitude until I was out of ammunition. He was smoking but I did not see him crash. As I could not catch him, I broke off and joined up with another flight.”
In April the Group flew 17 combat missions, Lt Spengler flew in 13 of them. On 16th April 1945 he claimed 1 FW 190 destroyed and 3 Junkers damaged on a raid north of Prague. He wrote: “I made about seven passes at the field, firing on each pass. On the second or third pass I blew up one FW190. I also hit three other Ju 87’s.”
Units served with
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...
Originally assigned to Captain Harold T Barnaby of Waco, TX, it was reassigned to Lieutenant William B Spengler, Chicago, IL, on Barnaby being transferred to 8th Fighter Command.
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...
Second Lieutenant Spengler assigned to 83rd Fighter Squadron.
||Duxford, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB22, UK
||20 April 1945
Promoted to First Lieutenant.