Tag Archives: invasion stripes

Willys & Worthog

We have previously covered the tale of the 190th Fighter Squadron’s 75th anniversary A-10 Thunderbolt II made up to emulate the antecedent squadron’s P-47D Thunderbolt’s Northwest Europe 1944 livery, including OD “ground attack” scheme with white cowling and tail stripes, WWII roundels, 8N squadron code, and D-Day invasion stripes.

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing is painted with a heritage WWII paint scheme at the Air National Guard paint facility in Sioux City, Iowa. The paint scheme is designed to replicate the look of the original P-47 Thunderbolt as it appeared during the 2nd World War. The 124th Fighter Wing conceived the idea in order to commemorate the unit’s 75th anniversary and lineage to their predecessor, the 405th Fighter Squadron. U.S. Air National Guard photo: Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot

It is a striking aircraft, to be sure, and the squadron has recently added a companion Willys in a photo series that really does it justice.

Via the Idaho National Guard’s PAO:

The Idaho Military History Museum’s World War II 1941 restored Willys Jeep or the 124th Fighter Wing’s heritage A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog, painted to resemble the World War II P-47 Thunderbolt.

The Jeep became one of the museum’s newest exhibits this year. Rob Lytle, a retired brigadier general, spent several months restoring the Jeep to get it operational again. Between 1941 and 1945, approximately 650,000 Jeeps were produced by the American Bantam Car Company, the Ford Motor Company and Willys Overland-Motors. This Jeep was painted to represent Idaho’s 183rd Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer-Tractor Drawn) and is similar to those the battalion operated in the European theater of operations between June 1944 and May 1945.

Earlier this year, the Idaho National Guard honored its heritage by unveiling the vintage-looking A-10 Thunderbolt II to pay tribute to the 405th Fighter Squadron’s P-47 Thunderbolts that provided aerial support during World War II. The wartime 405th Fighter Squadron returned to the United States in October of 1945 and was inactivated. It was reactivated and designated as the 190th Fighter Squadron, allotted to the Idaho Air National Guard, in 1946. The A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthogs came to Idaho in 1996.

Happy 75th Brrrthday, 190th Fighter Squadron

Reformed with the lineage of the WWII 405th Fighter Squadron on 24 May 1946, the 190th Fighter Squadron of the Idaho Air National Guard was organized at Gowen Field, south of Boise. Flying F-51 series Mustangs into the Korean War era they moved into jets in mid-1953, first with the F-86A Sabre, then followed in rapid procession by the F-94A Starfire, F-89C Scorpion, F-86L Sabre Interceptor, F-102 Delta Dagger, RF-4C Phantom, and F-4G Wild Weasel as their mission changed greatly over the year processing from air defense to recon and SEAD.

Finally, in 1996, they switched to the glorious A-10 Thunderbolt, more popularly known as the Warthog, which they have flown for a quarter-century including several active combat turns in the sandbox.

In honor of the “old” 405th, a P-47 Thunderbolt unit of the 371st Fighter Group, 9th U.S. Air Force, the 190th is celebrating their 75th this month with a Heritage flight A-10 Thunderbolt in the forerunner’s Northwest Europe 1944 livery.

The 405th FS arrived in the European theater in April 1944 and started their war doing fighter sweep, dive-bombing, and escort missions over France just before D-Day, targeting railroads, marshaling yards, vehicles, gun emplacements, and strong points in a role familiar to today’s A-10. During Overlord itself, they patrolled the beachhead areas and continued the aerial barrage through to St Lo and across northern France and supported the troops on the ground at the Battle of the Bulge before pushing into southern Germany where they ended the war, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation.

“MUMBLIN JOE,” a Republic P-47D-20-RE Thunderbolt, serial number 42-76452, was assigned to the 371st Fighter Group’s 405th Fighter Squadron (squadron code 8N). The aircraft bore the name of pilot Lt. Arthur W. “Bud” Holderness Jr., with the individual aircraft letter of “H” aft of the national insignia on the fuselage. It is pictured here with 41 mission symbols, bombed up and headed out for another combat mission, probably from A-6 airfield in France in the summer of 1944, probably with Lt. Holderness as the pilot. Holderness, a 1943 USMA graduate, flew 142 combat missions with the 371st during the war, received the Distinguished Flying Cross, 19 Air Medals, the French Croix de Guerre, and was one of two pilots in his squadron to earn the Lead Crew Combat Pilot patch. He went on to have a long and successful postwar career in the USAF, retiring in 1971 as a brigadier general. (Via Capt Tom Silkowski, 190th Fighter Squadron, Idaho ANG)

“BLACK JACK” was another 405th Fighter Squadron P-47D (8N-O), shown here being serviced in an expeditionary setting between missions, probably at A-6, with the pilot whose name was on the ship and its assigned ground crew. They are, probably, from left to right, Corporal Anthony J. Tenore, Lieutenant John L. Jackson (who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross), SSgt Robert L. Teague, and SSgt Robert E. Vaughn. (Via Capt Tom Silkowski, 190th Fighter Squadron, Idaho ANG)

The Heritage A-10 includes the OD scheme with white cowling and tail stripes, WWII roundels, 8N squadron code, and D-Day invasion stripes.

Sadly, no Mumblin Joe nose art, though.

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing is painted with a heritage WWII paint scheme at the Air National Guard paint facility in Sioux City, Iowa. The paint scheme is designed to replicate the look of the original P-47 Thunderbolt as it appeared during the 2nd World War. The 124th Fighter Wing conceived the idea to commemorate the unit’s 75th anniversary and lineage to their predecessor, the 405th Fighter Squadron. U.S. Air National Guard photo: Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot

 U.S. Air National Guard photo: Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot

U.S. Air National Guard photo: Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot

Invasion Stripes, Belgian edition

The current 349th Squadron and 350th Squadron of the Belgian Air Force started out in 1942 as Nos. 349 and 350 RAF with exiled Free Belgian members in British livery. After cutting their teeth on Lend-Lease Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks, they transitioned to Supermarine Spitfire Mark IXCs and later Mark Vs and flew close-in beachhead patrols over Normandy on D-Day, moving inland very soon after. The Belgians were pretty good too, fielding no less than 14 aces during the war including Col. Remy Van Lierde who chalked up six enemy aircraft and an impressive 44 V-1 flying bombs, ending the war as Squadron Leader of No. 350.

A No. 64 Spitfire with invasion stripes,

Today they fly F-16s but one Viper of each squadron has been given 1944 throwback Invasion Stripes for the upcoming 75th Anniversary of D-Day events next month.

I must say, they look great.

Note the tail flashes with the Spitfires and Squadron markings.

More here.