IWM catalogue record
This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.
Four ground crew demonstrate the different jobs that an aircraft's ground crew had to perform. One stands in the cockpit with radio equipment, another rubs down the barrels of one of the machine guns, another peers at the edge of the engine cowling and the fourth kneels beside the fuel drop tank. This was probably taken at Halesworth (Holton) air base where the 56th Fighter Group were based between 8 July 1943 and 18 April 1944. The P-47 Thunderbolt is one of the 61st Fighter Squadron's, marked with the code HV-D, serial number 42-7877 and known as "In the Mood". Passed for publication 16 September 1943. Printed caption attached to print: 'U.S. Fighter Ace's Ground Crew. Associated Press photo shows: The ground crew of the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter flown by Eighth Air Force pilot Captain Gerald Johnson, at work on the aircraft, preparing it for another incursion into enemy skies. WOR 260558/9 16943 U'.
Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...
Military | Major | Pilot
Gerald W Johnson was the first Ace pilot of the 56th Fighter Group and the second fighter ace in the European Group. In February 1944, he was promoted to Major and became flight leader of the 63rd Fighter Squadron.
Military site : airfield
Halesworth was constructed in 1942-1943. Initially planned as a bomber airfield, its location close to the Suffolk coast meant that it was in an ideal position to operate escort fighters, where range was a critical factor. Consequently, the 56th...