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P-51 Mustang

One-time personal aircraft of Lt Col James A. Clark and 1st Lt Willard G. Gillette.

On 10 August 1944, this aircraft crashed after it suffered a structural failure in a dive during a test flight from Debden, with 1st Lt Willard Gillette at the controls. It lost its ammunition tray covers, then went out of control when its tail snapped off. Gillette baled out and landed on the cricket field in Haverhill Castle Camp.



  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...


  • James Clark

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot; Deputy Commanding Officer
    Initially assigned to the 71st Eagle Squadron in June 1942. With the founding of the 4th Fighter Group that September, he was assigned to the 334th Squadron, where he eventually became its Commanding Officer. ...

  • Willard Gillette

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 4th Fighter Group
    Lt. Willard G "GI" Gillette was a colourful pilot who survived a mid-air collision, taxi accidents, and the loss of his P-51's tail section in a dive. He also lost a wingman to enemy action, prior to completing his tour of duty on 25 October 1944. ...

  • Willard Wahl

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | Crew Chief-750
    Crew chief 334th FS 4th FG 1943-45 Served in Korean and Vietnam


  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Event Location Date
Crashed 10 August 1944

See biography.


Date Contributor Update
07 March 2016 15:31:23 Al_Skiff Changes to markings and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2015 02:03:32 santini99 Changes to production block number

Updated production block no.

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 16:09:28 apollo11 Changes to description and events

Personal research & 4th Fighter Group 'Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz.

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 16:02:03 apollo11 Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, markings, description, unit associations, person associations and place associations

Personal research & 4th Fighter Group 'Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz.