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John Leon Ferra


Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. John Ferra was the one time crew chief of Captain Don Gentile for which he is most famous for. After Gentile was sent home, Ferra took care of 4 other kites until he was sent home in September 1945.

Awards: GC, WWII Victory, EAME (6 Battle stars).



  • Dominic Gentile

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 4th Fighter Group
    Don Gentile was born on December 6, 1920, to Italian parents in Piqua, Ohio. As a boy, he had always been fascinated with flying and built, as his mother remembered, hundreds of model airplanes. Don used to say to his mother, “I hope someday I'll be...

  • Richard Mansfield

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Assistant Crew chief
    Dick Mansfield was the one-time assistant crew chief to Don Gentile for which he is most known for. Dick's hometown was Longmeadow, Massachusetts. After Gentile was sent home Mansfield took care of 3 other aircraft before being sent home in September...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 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...

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...


  • 42-8629

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-5-RE 42-8629 [YF:Z] was assigned to the 355FG/358FS at Steeple Morden, UK. On 7-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by F/O Chester W. Watson was despatched with others from 355FG to porivde escort ot B-26 bombers from 9th Air Force attacking the German...

  • 43-6913 'Shangri-La'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Dominic 'Don' Gentile. He claimed 7.5 of his 21 victories in this aircraft. Don Gentile crashed this A/C whilst displaying to reporters after his final mission at his home base Debden on 13-Apr-44.

  • 42-106686 'Ann III' 'Lois'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 328FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF.

  • 42-103603

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. While up on a local OTU flight crashed NW of Cambridge near Warrier’s Farm in Somersham and was killed instantly. KIFA. 8-Apr-45.

  • 44-15375

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

  • 44-72767

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

Associated Place

  • 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
Born Wickenburg, AZ 5 October 1911
Based Debden 9 December 1942 – 20 September 1945

Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

Promotion Debden, UK 1 April 1943

Promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Died Casa Grande, AZ, USA 15 January 1999


Date Contributor Update
29 December 2020 18:34:01 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events, unit associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
18 April 2016 22:01:43 WD-C Mustang Changes to role, biography, awards, events and media associations

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2016 16:59:07 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:22 AAM AAM ingest

'1000 Destroyed' by Capt. Grover C. Hall, Jr. / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia