John Pugh opened his account on 08APR44, a Bf 109 downed while escorting a bombing raid to Brunswick. He was part of the 357th’s contribution to the shuttle missions to Russia. He ended the war with six confirmed victories, four Bf 109s and two FW 190s. He survived the war and retied as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1947.
Serial Number 42-106473 “Geronimo” P-51B-10-NA Capt. John Pugh357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals
John Medeiros’ Mustang wears a field applied camouflage of British colors, RAF Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray and carries an impressive tally bombing mission markers. Medeiros was credited with one aerial victory, a Bf 109. This aircraft was shot down on 19SEP44 by an FW 190A-8 piloted by Lt. Gerhard Vogt of 5./JG 26.
Serial Number 43-6813 “Pappy’s Answer” P-51B-7-NA Capt. John “Pappy” Medeiros 364 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-03 decals
Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War’s Greatest Untold Story – The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company
Authored by Patrick O’Donnell, Narrated by Lloyd James
Audiobook, 6 hours and 10 minutes
Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
George Company of the First Marine Regiment was one of the formations which was hastily put together and rushed to Korea in response to the North Korean invasion. Many were Reservists, and several had never even been through boot camp. They were landed at Inchon in September 1950 and helped liberate Seoul. With the North Korean forces in retreat, they then landed at Wonson to the enemy’s rear and advanced North to the Chosin Reservoir.
There two problems faced the Marines. A record-cold North Korean winter was setting in, and the Chinese had been infiltrating divisions of “volunteers” South to support the routed North Korean Army. MacArthur and the United Nations Command had persistently discounted reports of contact with Chinese troops, but by the end of November even MacArthur was forced to concede that more than a dozen Chinese divisions were encircling the U.N. Task Force at Chosin. Legendary Colonel Chesty Puller, commanding the First Marines, reportedly said, “They’ve got us surrounded, the poor bastards.”
The U.N. troops conducted a fighting retreat to the South. The Chinese attempted to cut the roads and trap the American and their allies using roadblocks and ambushes but were unable to stop them. During the withdrawal seven Chinese divisions were destroyed, both sides reportedly losing more casualties to frostbite than to enemy action. The author uses personal interviews to tell the story of the Marines of George Company, their battles are related from the perspectives of the individual Marines involved. This is a great piece of history from a forgotten war, and brutal chapter in the history of the Marine Corps. Highly recommended.
Leonard Carson was the leading scorer of the 357th Fighter Group with 18.5 aerial victories and another 3.5 on the ground. His P-51B was named “Nooky Booky” by his crew chief. Carson kept the name for luck as his aircraft were replaced, finishing the war in a P-51K named “Nooky Booky IV”. His best day was 27NOV44 when he claimed five Focke Wulf FW 190s during a single mission.
Serial Number 43-6634 “Nooky Booky” P-51B-7-NA Leonard K. Carson 362 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals
John “Pappy” Herbst was an American who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and was sent to England with the Eagle Squadron. He claimed a Bf-109, but this was unconfirmed. Herbst commanded the 74th Fighter Squadron in China, and flew both the P-40N Warhawk and P-51B Mustang in combat. He was credited with 18 victories over Japanese aircraft, making him the second highest scoring pilot in the CBI behind Tex Hill. He survived the war, but died in July 1946 while giving a flight demonstration in a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star.
Serial Number 43-7060 “Tommy’s Dad” P-51B-7-NA Major John C. Herbst 74 FS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-176 decals
WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT― Thomas Jefferson