FRE 5956


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A P-51 Mustang named “Man O’ War”, of the 339th Fighter Group based at Fowlmere. This P-51 has bombs affixed beneath the wings. The man in the left of the picture is the runway control officer. Mustangs would take-off from the grass runway in pairs .Once assembled; the group would head for the rendezvous with the bombers they were assigned to escort. In order to save time (and therefore fuel) in completing this, the 339th had an experienced fighter pilot would stand beside the runway signalling to each new pair of aircraft it was safe to take-off. The flagman wore a colourful striped jacket and a white baseball cap to assist spotting him. Handwritten on slide:"man O' War being waved off Fowlmere pyjama jacket 8/44 with bombs James G. Robinson"


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A P-51 Mustang of the 339th Fighter Group prepares to take-off at Fowlmere, whilst the Runway Control Officer watches. The distinctive striped jacket (and baseball cap) he is wearing was a peculiarity of the 339th – it was instituted to assist pilots of aircraft in spotting the Officer, upon whose signal that it was safe to take–off they depended. Handwritten on slide:"T/o bombing mission 8/44 Fowlmere James G. Robinson"
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: Man O War
  • Unit: 339th Fighter Group 505th Fighter Squadron Headquarters (339th Fighter Group)



Date: 5 Nov 2022 07:39:47
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Date: 8 Sep 2014 15:30:00
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IWM, Roger Freeman Collection