350th Fighter Group 346th Fighter Squadron, Italy

P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 6C3 - Bachs Boche Bustin Bastard
PILOT 1/Lt. Addison A. Bachman
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin by TonyT Download Skin

BACH'S BOCHE BUSTIN BASTARD.
This was the plane of 1/Lt. Addison A. Bachman, who joined the 346th FS on October 1944. He flew many missions and a couple of the more successful ones took place on February 23, 1945 when he destroyed a Ju 88 on the ground at Aviano and on April 21, when he claimed three Tiger tanks, 11 motor trucks, one staff car and two 88mm guns as destroyed, Such low level missions against the retreating Germans were extremely dangerous however, and already on April 10, Bachman's P-47 had been badly damaged by enemy a/a fire. On April 22, 1945 , on mission n. 427, during another strafing attack against German tank columns, Lt. Bachman - probably hit by enemy fire - apparently misjudged his height and "mushed" on the ground, exploding in a ball of fire. The action took place at 16.30hrs in Sassuolo area.

This skin is dedicated to the Memory of Lt Bachman who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the freedom we have today.

Please enjoy this series skins and use them as a mark of respect for these gallant pilots, that often gave so much, that we may have the freedom to use them now.

Enjoy,
TonyT

Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

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P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 6C4 - TENNESEE RAMBLER - (Updated - May 12, 2006)
PILOT Lt. Morrow
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin by TonyT Download Skin

As a continuation of my P47 Aircraft skins for the IL2 Forgotten Battles series of games, please find enclosed a new skin based on the Aircraft from 346th FS, 350th FG based in Corsica Italy. This skin has been produced using Photographic evidence and considerable information supplied by my co Author Ferdinando D'Amico including the historical details provided below.

TENNESSEE RAMBLER/OPTIMAL SUE
This P-47 was the mount of 1/Lt. Robert K. Morrow, arrived to the 346th FS, 350th FG on September 10, 1944. There were two planes with this name, the first one being destroyed on 2 February 1945, during a dawn patrol protecting Pisa airfield in very bad weather. The plane of 2/Lt. Thomas E. Gomez collided from underneath (pilot killed) and Lt. Morrow was forced to bail out safely.

The second "Tennessee Rambler" (illustrated by this skin) performed more constantly and with efficiency. This is another example of P-47s with two different names on both sides of fuselage: thanks to a rare movie shot on April 2, 1945, upon the return of the victorious US pilots from their largest and most successful encounter with the enemy (Italian-manned Bf 109s of 2° Gruppo Caccia ANR), it was discovered that on starboard side this P-47 had a name painted in "cartoonish" style as well as having both the names of Crew Chief and Armourer applied above the unit's badge. After having examined the movie endless times, the name (which was always partly hidden by men and mechanics) was recreated as "Optimal Sue". This is a best guess, since only "Opt","Mal" and "Sue" can be seen at times. Take this as a work in progress... What is sure is that "6C4" was a very peculiar aircraft!
Among the many missions performed, we can recall the following:

24 March - led a 12-ship formation escorting B-25s almost to Austria;

2 April - flown by Lt. Richard P. Sulzbach, was involved in a furious combat between Ghedi and Villafranca, managing to claim two Bf 109s of 2° Gr. C. of the ANR one of them being the one of Ten. Sarti (KIA). On that day, the rest of the unit claimed ten more Bf 109s shot down for no loss.

10 April - led a flight of four to strafe Aviano airdrome (two Bf 109 claimed as damaged individually);

13 April - led a flight of four which destroyed the central span of Rovereto rail bridge;

Lt. Morrow and his "Tennessee Rambler"/"Optimal Sue" ended the war safely. If anyone does have additional information and can fill in some of the blanks in this veteran warbirds history or indeed of the 350th FG both myself and my co Author Ferdinando D'Amico would love to hear from you.

Please enjoy this series skins and use them as a mark of respect for these gallant pilots, that often gave so much, that we may have the freedom to use them now.

Enjoy,
TonyT
Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

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By Monstad

P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 6B4 - Buzzin Cuzzin' (One and Two)
PILOT Lt. Richard P. Sulzbach
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin by Tony Taylor Download Skin

BUZZIN CUZZIN' (One and Two)
This was the plane of Lt. Richard P. Sulzbach, arrived to the 350th FG on 31 October 1944 and assigned to the 346th FS. A very vivacious character, when he still was a Flight Officer (December 1944) he tried to buzz with one of the two surviving razorback P-47s of the unit, the 350th Gp. Officers quarters, in Nettuno Hotel, Pisa, facing the river Arno. While flying a few feet above the river, he encountered a cable (the one carrying comms between HQ of 5th Army and subordinate Commands). The cable cut off almost a meter of one wing, smashed bulletproof windscreen and the canopy, but Sulzbach managed to land back at Pisa. He was temporarily grounded and his promotion to Lt. delayed of 3 months...

Anyway he managed to became a successful Flight Leader and to claim three e/a shot down: the first happened on 29 January 1945 when he claimed a Ju 87D of NSGr.9 shot down at dusk, NO of Bologna. His faithful "Buzzin Cuzzin'" however, was destroyed on 30 March 1944 with 1/Lt. Glenn L. Parish flying it and killed during a strafing, when a huge explosion of his target (an ammo dump) engulfed the plane, destroying it.

Thus Sulzbach on 1 April 1945 was flying one of the brand new P-47 (s/n 44-21054) which the 346th FS had received on late March and adorned with a new, rushed, version of his nickname. The initial fate wasn't favourable to the new mount, as Sulzbach, while trying to attack several trucks hidden in a wood near Lake Garda, didn't pull up in time and crashed against a bunch of trees... the strength of the Jug saved his life, since his plane, notwithstanding a completely bent nose and deep gashes along all wing leading edges, managed to saw his way through the trees and bring the pilot back to Pisa.

Both wings, nose, engine and airscrew were to be replaced, so Sulzbach was flying with another different P-47 on the following day, when in a furious combat between Ghedi and Villafranca, he managed to claim two Bf 109s of 2° Gr. C. of the ANR one of them being the one of Ten. Sarti (KIA). On that day, the rest of the unit claimed ten more Bf 109s shot down for no loss.

On 22 April 1945 Sulzbach's P-47 was hit during one of the many missions against the retreating German troops in the final pust of the Allied troops on the Padana plains. He managed to crash-land safely along the Via Emilia and was rescued by an advancing section of the 88th US Division. The war ended a week later.

Please enjoy this series skins and use them as a mark of respect for these gallant pilots, that often gave so much, that we may have the freedom to use them now.

Enjoy,
TonyT

Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

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P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 6C7 - CHICKENBONES
PILOT Lt. Eddy
CREW CHIEF S/Sgt Herman P. Sandner, also known as "Sandy"
Skin by TonyT Download Skin

CHICKENBONES
Sometimes when you are skinning something of the unexpected comes along and this is one of those occasions. I was approached and asked if I would be interested in doing several P47 Skins, I would be provided with unreleased personal Photographs belonging to the pilots that flew the Aircraft involved. "ChickenBones" (which, by the way, was the nickname given by Eddy to his wife Carolyn, due to her thinness...). is one such Aircraft and will be the first of several Aircraft I have painted. These pictures have been provided courtesy of Ferdinando D'Amico Co Author of the Excellent book "Air War Italy 1944-45" by N. Beale, F. D'Amico and G.Valentini, Airlife Publ., UK 1996.

Some more info on the two victories painted on the P-47: they were scored by Lt. Eddy respectively on March 14, 1945, shooting down in a head-on attack the Bf 109 G-10 W.Nr.491356 flown by Magg. Adriano Visconti, CO of 1° Gruppo Caccia of the ANR. The Italian pilot (and top scoring ace with 26 victories claimed - reduced to 10, after recent researches) baled out slightly wounded on the mountains surrounding Lake Garda.

This is Eddy's account of the dogfight as published in the book "Air War Italy 1944-45":

"... Next I spotted a Jerry at 2 o'clock high going into a wing over to make a frontal attack. I squared off on him for a straight head-on. We both opened up at extreme range and fired long bursts. We closed on each other fast and it was evident one of us would have to give way. I could see my bullets hitting him solidly. Finally at the very last second when it seemed we were both too stubborn to give, he pulled up over me and passed only five feet over my nose. All the time I could hear the sound of his cannon over my machine guns. After he once passed we didn't turn to observe what happened to him, but the crews of the bombers confirmed that he had baled out..."

The second kill was obtained on April 2, 1945, during a huge dogfight against the Bf 109s of 2° Gruppo Caccia, by pursuing and shooting down near Cittadella (Padua) the Bf 109 G-10 "black 5" flown by S.Ten. Felice Squassoni, who baled out safely (only to meet Eddy 44 years later due to Mr. D'Amico's efforts...).

And this is the 2nd combat in Eddy's words:

"... I gave him a burst from dead astern, range about 3,000 feet. He started weaving back and forth. This slowed him down considerably and I closed rapidly to 1,000 feet before firing again. My second burst bracketed the fuselage with a multitude of strikes. Throttling back to avoid overrunning him, I concentrated on firing. Heavy black smoke and white coolant resulted as I closed to 100 feet firing short bursts. At this point... the ME start[ed] to roll, and at the completion of the roll [it] pulled up and the pilot bailed out in the vicinity of Cittadella. I had to dump the nose of my P-47 to avoid hitting the body of the enemy pilot, then I came back passing close to him as he hung in his parachute. He seemed unhurt..."

The skin has been painted on the excellent template provided by Snorri with a skin template layer added by Bo Nidle, Over this I have done some reworking to correct errors in the original voids and then added considerably many new layers to get the metal to a standard close to the photographic evidence I have. From the Photographic evidence I have, I have then been able to repaint the skin to accurately portray the real "ChickenBones" None of which could have been done without the support and not inconsiderable help I have received from my Co Author Ferdinando D'Amico.. Thank you. This skin is an updated version of the original, with enhanced metal, and increased detailing.

I hope you enjoy flying and using this skin of a frequently unpublished and unheralded Unit.

Enjoy,
TonyT

Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

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P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 603 - PHILIDELPHIA FILLY (Updated - May 12, 2006)
PILOT UNKNOWN
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin by TonyT
Update by Monguse
Text by Ferdinando D'Amico
Download Skin


As noted above. We have found new information and are editing the skin. Please be patient, good things come to those that wait.

TORRID TESSIE/PHILIDELPHIA FILLY
As a continuation of my P47 Aircraft skins for the IL2 Forgotten Battles series of games, please find enclosed a new skin based on the Aircraft from 346th FS, 350th FG based in Corsica Italy. This skin has been produced using Photographic evidence and considerable information supplied by my co Author Ferdinando D'Amico.

Not a lot of information is available for the History of this twin-face aircraft. except for the fact that it was credited as the mount of the CO of 346th FS, Maj. Charles E. Gilbert II . With this very plane, Maj. Gilbert did the combat of April 2, 1945 when the planes of the 346th Fs (which he led) and those of the 347th FS encountered the Italian Bf 109s of 2¡ Gruppo Caccia ANR: after the first "clash" between the formations, he caught by surprise a section of six Messerschmitts which were about to land on the nearby airbase of Villafranca...

"...Meanwhile, Maj. Gilbert noticed that he was at 3,000 ft. over Villafranca airfield, just as Miani's group were about to land:

I looked again and saw six ME-109s preparing to land... They were at about 800 feet and... circling to the left. It was very difficult to see them against the ground because they were camouflaged dark blue. I turned to the left and dived on them, firing at each one in quick succession on the initial pass. I observed as I did so that all had their wheels and flaps down and that no flak was being fired from the airdrome. As I pulled up to the left for my second pass, I looked for my wingman but did not see him. On the second pass, I again fired at each successive aircraft but concentrated mainly on the fifth one, giving him two to three short bursts from 400 to 200 yards range, decreasing deflection from 45 degrees to 25 degrees. Again I broke hard left and came around for my third pass. I did not observe but four aircraft on this pass.

The fifth aircraft was M.llo Giuseppe Moratti's, hit by Gilbert in the landing pattern, just as Miani's plane had landed. Moratti's 109 was set afire and despite his desperate attempts it clipped three trees at the runway's edge and turned upside down on a fourth. Groundcrewmen ran to the burning aircraft and managed to extract him from the cockpit. Though burned and wounded, Moratti survived.

Gilbert's attack was not yet over:

...this time I concentrated on the number four. I gave him a good burst from a 45 degree overhead pass, observing strikes around the engine [which] ceased to function and his propeller started to windmill. Instead of turning left toward the field he continued on to southwest while I continued on above him at 1,000 feet trying to reduce my speed. It appeared that he was going to crash-land but made no effort to retract flaps or wheels. When about ten feet off the ground, a P-47, later found to be my wingman, Lt. Thompson, came in and gave him a short burst from 30 degrees on the port side. I observed strikes on the ground off to the ME's right wing. The ME-109 then crashed into a ploughed field two miles south southwest of Villafranca. His left wing was broken off by a tree. I did not see the aircraft burn, nor the pilot get out.

In fact Serg. Raffaele Archidiacono was badly wounded in the abdomen and unable to get out. He nonetheless found the strength to ask rescuers arriving a few minutes later, if his crash-landing had caused hurt any of the peasants working in the fields, then fainted. Archidiacono died a few hours later in hospital of a serious internal haemorrhage.

Maj. Gilbert was joined by his wingman and both headed back to Pisa..."

(report extracted from "Air War Italy 1944-45" by N. Beale - F. D'Amico - G. Valentini, Airlife Publ. 1996)

This is one of the few cases (a couple more emerged so far in photographs) of a plane with a double name. In fact this P-47D-27 was named "Torrid Tessie" on port side and "Philadelphia Filly" on the starboard one! From the photos we have to work from, the serial on the tail is "420978", the names were applied on both sides in red with a thin white outline, the missions were positioned on starboard side only.

If anyone does have additional information and can fill in some of the blanks in this veteran warbirds history both myself and my co Author Ferdinando D'Amico would love to hear from you.

Please enjoy this series skins and use them as a mark of respect for these gallant pilots, that often gave so much, that we may have the freedom to use them now.

Enjoy,
TonyT

Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

WWII Photos, Courtesy of D'Amico - Valentini
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P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 6D5 - OH JONNIE
PILOT First Lieutenant Raymond Larry Knight
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin by TonyT Download Skin

OH JONNIE
Raymond Knight enlisted in the Air Corps at Houston. Oct. 12. 1942. He took flying training at Stamford, Sherman and Foster Fields, Texas, being commissioned as a pilot in May 1944. He served at Matagorda and Abilene. Texas, until going to the Mediterranean Theater in Italy in November 1944, being assigned to the 350th Fighter Group's 346th Squadron. From December 1944, until his death, Apr. 25, 1945, he flew 82 combat missions in 180 hours of combat time, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and six Air Medals, in addition, to the coveted Medal of Honor for two heroic days of flying in his Thunderbolt fighter in the northern Po Valley area.

Promoted to first lieutenant a month before this action, Lieutenant Knight in the two days of low-level strafing missions destroyed 14 grounded enemy planes and led attacks which wrecked 10 others and greatly aided the Allied drive in northern Italy. On the morning of Apr. 24, he volunteered to lead two other planes against the strongly defended enemy airdrome at Ghedi. Ordering his fellow pilots to remain aloft. he skimmed the ground through a deadly curtain of antiaircraft fire to reconnoiter the field, locating eight German planes hidden beneath heavy camouflage. He rejoined his flight. briefed them by radio, and then led the attack, getting five planes himself while his mates got two others.

Returning to base, he again volunteered to lead three planes in reconnaissance of Bergamo Airfield. Using the same method, he personally discovered a squadron of enemy planes under camouflage and his own plane was hit by ground fire. He led ten deliberate passes against the field, personally destroying six fully loaded twin-engine planes and two fighters, while his element destroyed five others. Lieutenant Knight returned to base in his damaged fighter. Next morning he again attacked Bergamo, getting his fourteenth plane on the ground while his fellow pilots ran their score to 10. He again was hit, refused to parachute, and en route home lost his life when caught by the treacherous air conditions in the Apennine Mountains, where he crashed.

His Medal of Honor reads, in part: "...The gallant action of Lieutenant Knight eliminated the German aircraft which were poised to wreak havoc on Allied forces pressing to establish the first firm bridgehead across the Po River. His fearless daring and voluntary self-sacrifice averted possible heavy casualties among ground forces and the resultant slowing of the drive which culminated in the collapse of German resistance in Italy." The skin included in this file relects the Aircraft used by LT Knight during this final period and is a tribute to his deeds.

The skin is modified from a couple of the excellent skins produced by Snorri and has been painted on the P-47D-27 variant, although i have tried it on the earlier models as well.

I hope you enjoy flying this skin as much as I enjoyed altering it. Thanks to Snorri for the excellent base skin to which I modified and painted the scheme upon, This is a small update having now sourced a better representation of the Unit markings and I have also taken this opportunity to improve the Tail checkers as well.

Enjoy,
TonyT

Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

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P47D27 350th FG 346th FS - 6B1 - HELLZAPOPPIN (New - May 12, 2006)
PILOT 1/Lt. James D. Dailey
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin by Monguse
Template by TonyT
Text by Ferdinando D'Amico
Download Skin

HELLZAPOPPIN

This P-47 D-27RE was flown by 1/Lt. James D. Dailey on one particular mission and the results were shown in some photographs taken the day after. This is how the mission developed, as reported in the book "The Memory is Still Fresh" Recollections of the Men of the 346th Fighter Squadron”:

"December 22, 1944 was clear and 34 sorties (6 missions) were made. There was little traffic and most of the damage was to rails and bridges. Lt. Jim Dailey was the leader of a three aircraft escort for 5 C 47s. After escorting them back behind the lines, the flight searched for targets of opportunity. Tommy Tomlinson tells about it:

The mission that I have a picture memory of is when Lt. Dailey and I were strafing an ammo dump on the shore of Lake Maggiore on the Italian Swiss border. We had a photo of the building and were shooting incendiary 50 calibers through the roof. We had set up a traffic pattern and made several runs. I was following Dailey on his run and when he was over the top of the building on his pullout, there was one hell of an explosion as that building blew sky high. It was amazing that the P 47 brought Dailey home. The cowling was battered in, oil all over, and a lot of damage to the engine from the explosion. I can still see fragments from the building falling back into the water of Lake Maggiore for what seemed like several minutes

It turned out that the left wing tip and six inches of the left aileron were torn off the P 47. There were many jagged holes in the wing, the propeller was badly damaged, and one cylinder was blown away. The Jug was not indestructible but it was a sturdy hunk of airplane"

The plane had received Category 2 (serious) damage, but was repaired and continued to operate, resulting again damaged on 17 February 1945 (Cat 1), 6 March 1945 (Cat 2), 23 March 1945 - flown by Lt. Tilbrook - (cat 2) and 1 April 1945 (Cat 2). This makes of “Hellzapoppin” one of the longest serving and more battle veteran aircraft of its unit.

Monguse/TonyT Template
Not for Commercial use without my express permission.

WWII Photos, Courtesy of D'Amico - Valentini
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