Skip to main content

From William E Peto:
'I have enclosed a photo of the [36th Fighter Group's] 53rd Fighter Squadron personnel as constituted in March - April of 1944 at Ashford Kent. On the back is a list of those in the picture, left to right, front row to top row. The Flight Surgeon Captain Kaufman, Ground Officers Major Thomas and Lieutenant Hurley are listed.'

'As we became operational I noted those were KIA or MIA. Major Deabler seated next to me, who was our CO, was shot down on his second mission. I was more fortunate. I flew 90 missions and survived a parachute jump and returned to the States at the end of March 1945 as one of the three remaining from the original group (Hodge and Haugen). At the time I was Operations Officer.'

Front row, left to right: E Obie, Al Garner, Cooper, "Sunshine" Robinson and Whitiner
Second row, left to right: H. Glaser, Resse, Hunt, William E Peto, Richard T Deabler (KIA), Jim Hodge, Joe Stiles, La Roque (KIA), Bob Burns and Gulick Robinson (KIA).
Third row, left to right: Thomas (Ground Executive Officer), Moody, McConaghy, Jack Crow, Padgett (KIA), Mulholund (KIA), Haugeu, Harvey Holloman, Smoke, Woodside (KIA) and Doc Kaufman (Flight Surgeon).
Top row, left to right: Slater, Hurley (Ground Adjutant), Baldy Blazer, John Lightwine (POW), Joseph W Wavra (KIA), Dewey (KIA) and Meehan (KIA)

The family of William Dewey have identified him as fourth in from the left in the top row. It is therefore possible that the airman second from the right is 'Baldy' Blazer.



  • 36th Fighter Group

    36th Fighter Group

    The Group, as the 36th Pursuit Group, were part of the defence force for the Caribbean area and the Panama Canal in 1941, flying P-39s and P-40s out of Puerto Rico. By May 1944 the 36th Fighter Group were flying their first missions out of England...

  • 53rd Fighter Squadron


  • Bob Burns


  • Jack Crow


  • Richard Deabler

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot
    Richard Deabler served as a fighter pilot with the 53rd Fighter Squadron of the 36th Fighter Group. He was the CO of that Squadron when was killed on his second mission on 21 May 1944. He was flying in P-47D 42-25886. See Missing Air Crew Report 5011.

  • William Dewey

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot
    William Dewey served as a pilot with the 53rd Fighter Squadron of the 36th Fighter Group, flying missions out England and France. He was killed on 13 October 1944 and is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery.

  • Al Garner


  • H Glaser


  • Jim Hodge


  • Harvey Holloman


  • Richard La Roque

    Military | Major | Pilot
    Killed in action in P-47D 42-25900 Rick O'Shay .

  • John Lightwine

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot

Show more


  • Ashford

    Military site : airfield
    Built as an Advanced Landing Ground for the RAF in 1942-1943, Ashford was improved and made ready for the Ninth Air Force in 1944. The 406th Fighter Group operated from the airfield in 1944, before the airfield was returned to RAF use and returned to...


Date Contributor Update
07 July 2017 14:38:59 Lucy May Changes to caption

Correspondence with William Dewey's nephew, Lee Gardner Dewey: 'I had dinner with two of my siblings last night and had an email from a third -- we are all in agreement. We have many pictures of Bill Dewey and one of my brothers looks very much like him.'

Date Contributor Update
19 July 2016 14:48:19 Lucy May Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations and place associations

Sent through to the museum by William E Peto, a member of the American Air Museum in Britain.