Gene Bailey Fetrow


Object Number - UPL 18434 - Capt Gene Bailey Fetrow 335th FS 4th FG 8AF USAAF former 121 Sqn RAF Eagle.

Born August 27, 1918 in Torrance, California. He attended Chaffey High School, Ontario, Calif. and worked for Douglas Aircraft, Santa Monica, Calif. as an Inspector for the A-20 final assembly line and experimental department. He volunteered for service in the Royal Air Force in the early part of 1941. He received flight training at Polaris Flight Academy, Glendale, Calif. which was also known as Cal-Aero under the command of Major Mosley[6.1 hours in the Ryan ST, 30.3 in the Stearman, 18.2 in the Vultee BT- 13, 1.3 in the AT-6, and 5.5 in the Spartan 7-W. his experience included 18 hours on instruments and 13 in the Link trainer]. Having shipped overseas to the ETO he was assigned to 53 OTU where he began flying Spitfires. From this station he was assigned to the 121 Eagle Squadron at North Weald, England flying the Spitfire Mark VB in combat. On his 56th mission while escorting light attack bombers on the Dieppe Commando Raid he was shot down by a Fw190 with an incredible full-deflection shot ! Fortunately he was able to bailout of the burning plane and landed in the Dieppe Harbor where he was rescued by the returning commandos. In the latter part of 1942 the 121 Eagle Squadron transferred into the USAAF as the 335th FS of the 4th FG, Eighth Air Force. The Group was equipped with P-47D Razor-Back. This was the first group to put the P-47 Thunderbolt into operation.
Assigned to Rome Field as a test pilot upon return to the ZI. Elevated to Chief Test Pilot. Left the USAAF after the war with the rank of Major. In the construction business in Ontario, California. Co-owner/operator of a firm that built heavy-duty dumping trailers.


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Units served with


  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Unit: No 121 'Eagle' Squadron



Event Location Date Description


Torrance, CA, USA 28 August 1918 Born - 28 August 1918 Torrance, CA.


Shot down

Rue du Port d'Ouest, 76200 Dieppe, France 19 August 1942 On his 56th mission while escorting light attack bombers on the Dieppe Raid he was shot down by a Fw190 with an incredible full-deflection shot ! Baled out and landed in Dieppe Harbour where he was rescued by the returning commandos



Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 14 September 1942 Transferred to 335th FS, 4th FG, 8AF USAAF.


Ontario, CA, USA 1 April 2004 Died - 1 April 2004 Ontario, CA.


Joined RAFVR

Canada Joined Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.


Service pilot training

Glendale, CA, USA Service pilot training in US. Polaris Flight Academy, Glendale, California.


Shipped Overseas

Merseyside, UK Shipped Overseas to ETO.


Operational training

Heston, Hounslow, Hounslow, Greater London TW5, UK Operational training at No 53 OTU. Conversion to Hurricane and Spitfires.



Kirton in Lindsey, Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire DN21, UK Assigned to 121 Eagle Sqn RAF.


Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, March Air Reserve Base, CA 92518, USA Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California, USA.


Date25 Feb 2016 13:30:34
Date23 Oct 2015 10:45:30
Date23 Oct 2015 10:33:35

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:10:36

Gene Bailey Fetrow: Gallery (1 items)