Feb 9th, 1945 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TC has the real cool pleasure of spending sometime this afternoon with a long time friend who sixty-nine years ago today over Fulda , Germany spotted three Me-262 German Jet fighters coming up to attack the B-17 Flying Fortress formation his fighter group..the 339th FG. Lt Stephen Ananian closed on the lead ME-262 and putting the marvelous K-14 guns site & six Ma Duces to good use . He struck the Me-262 with a nice burst on a defelection burst. The jets engine caught fire and it went smoking into the ground. The two other Me-262 beat a quick retreat as other P-51's closed on them.
A British publication Aeroplane Monthly has written a story on this mission and the shoot down of the Me-262, the 339th had numerous jet kills and Mr Ananian said the best tatic was for the Mustangs to circle the Luftwaffe airfield and as the jets came in to refuel ...hit them quick and fast.
The P-51 had great range and they could fly in the target area as the German Jets ran low on fuel and had to land. Gen Chuck Yeager got a Me-262 kill this way....drove up on its six and blasted him out of the air ! Just a real treat to hear some of his amazing stories. Lt Ananian had three ground victories before the jet shoot down and later in the war claimed several other air kills but this was on a mission to ferry P-51's to Sweden ..so political cover at the time his kills were not allowed.
On May 7th 1945 he and his wingman were allowed to take up their P-51's for the last time and they flew several low passed over London ..since now all the barriage ballons were taken down and no threat of AAA fire was present. Then they crossed the channel and did a low level buz job right down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees..... about what he says some 30 feet off the ground. Everyone was waving at them as they blew the windows open on a few buildings ...pulling up and skirting the Arc de Triomphe. Just he and his wingman enjoying the beauty & power of the famed
P-51 Mustang. "Cutting the grass " as they say along the way. Needless to say when they landed back in England at t heir base...well their group commander was none to please. But with the war over a good laugh was had by all and they celebrated with some good spirits !
Lt Ananian was a real pro with film and cameras and he managed to buy a good film camera in London on leave and its 16 mm housing took the same kind of film as his gun camera in this Mustang. So he shot some great footage around the base and even while flying in his P-51. Below is a
link to where one can buy this dvd. Remarkable stuff for sure...amazing historical stuff to see. He kept all that film he had in his footlocker well wrapped and developed it himself after the war.
Just hearing his talk about how he attacked those three M-262 was unreal and to shoot one down was not and easy feat for sure in air to air combat...some afternoon. TC was doing back flips after spending some quality time discussing the merits of the air war and the role the famed P-51 had during the war . He did his fair share of shooting up German convoys and airfields in the war...a very dangerous thing to do in a Mustang . With its engine not as condusive to straffing as the more rugged P-47 Thunderbolt. Sadly his gun camera film on the Me-262 kill was ruined as the film was overexposed in the camera. The ground crew set the film stop based on weather reports of that day. But his wingman saw the kill and confirmed the victory !
Lt Ananian flew in the same 501st squardon in the 339th as did my late friend James Starnes who had twelve air victories with the group. Col Starnes later flew in Vietnam as well ...in F-4's ! In WW II Capt Starnes flew "Tar Heel "..... he was from North Carolina and I visited with him some at his home in Flordia ! Some day and a real treat to sit and listen to great historical stuff like this . I took some photos of the event and will share them here !
WOW................. double WOW............................... TC !
This is a film made by a real-life P-51 pilot during WWII. Lt. Stephen Ananian, of the 339th Fighter Group, was stationed at Fowlmere in England and flew combat missions against German planes during the latter years of WWII.
Lt. Ananian used a 16mm camera which he took with him into the cockpit and filmed other P-51s in the air and landing. He also took some great shots of the flight line, P-51s preparing to takeoff, the airfield, and pilot preparations before a mission. Other shots rarely seen in other films include everyday life on the base.
This DVD actually includes two films. The first one is the original film and the second one is the same film but with a commentary by Stephen Ananian.
This rare film footage has been remarkably restored by Rare Aviation but light and dark sections are present. This is understandable given the conditions under which Lt. Ananian filmed. Still, the film provides a glimpse into some of the experiences of a P-51 pilot based in England during WWII.
In NTSC DVD format, B+W, region-free with a runtime of about 40 minutes. Packaged in either a clear plastic CD-style jewel case or a clear plastic C-Shell DVD case without paper graphics.