351st YJ Aircraft

YJ-A

A/C 42-8380 P-47D-2-RE “Lonesome Polecat.” The aircraft assigned to and named by Lt. George N. Ahles. Ahles had a landing accident in it at RAF Biggin Hill September 25, 1943, but it was repaired and stayed with the Squadron probably until around late February or early March 1944 when Ahles received a new P-47D-15. It subsequently was sent to training command and has a recorded accident at Membury on August 23, 1944. This aircraft is sometimes recorded as flying with the 352nd FG as PE-C. This we feel is an error as the easily confused 42-8580 actually flew under this code. Some records have a/c 42-8380 as crashing with the 359th FG on January 27, 1944. Again, this is a typo as P-47C 41-6380 was actually involved in the crash.

A/C 42-75850 P-47D-15-RE. The second “Lonesome Polecat” of Lt. George N. Ahles. This new D-15 replaced the first aircraft in late February/March 1944, but was lost along with Lt. William R. Burkett March 4, 1944.

A/C 42-8619 P-47D-5-RE. The thrid “Lonsome Polecat” of Lt. George N. Ahles. Lt. Paul Trudeau crashed this aircraft May 21, 1944 (there’s a picture on page 481 of Jonah’s Feet Are Dry). It was then under repair for a time before being returned to service and recoded at YJ-A. It probably became Lt. Alex Hartley’s “Anvil Chaos” at this point. It suffered a further accident at the hands of Lt. Frank on June 30, 1944 and did not return to service until July 8. There is a record that indicates that at some point the aircraft the aircraft was coded YJ-A and named “Man Made Monster” with the 351st FS, but the evidence is too unclear to state anything conclusively at this stage. Some accounts also indicate the aircraft was declared “War Weary” and went on to the 4th FG as an OTU aircraft and then the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron still as “Man Made Monster” but we are unable to confirm this.

Lt. George N. Ahles' third "Lonesome Polecat" (YJ-A a/c 42-8619) as QP-O "Man Made Monster" with the 4th Fighter Group. This fine colour photo comes from a sequence recording the return of 4th FG aircraft from Operation Frantic (mission to Russia) July 5, 1944 so it looks as if the aircraft was with them from at least this date. We have a record indicating "Man Made Monster" was a 351st FS name, but have no indication of who was responsible for it. Records indicate the aircraft kept the name when it later flew with the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron (credit/copyright CWO E.B. Richie, 4th Fighter Group with thanks to Mark Richie, Vice President, Association 4th FG WWII)

Lt. George N. Ahles’ third “Lonesome Polecat” (YJ-A a/c 42-8619) as QP-O “Man Made Monster” with the 4th Fighter Group. We have a record indicating “Man Made Monster” was a 351st FS name, but have no indication of who was responsible for it. Records indicate the aircraft kept the name when it later flew with the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron (credit/copyright CWO E.B. Richie, 4th Fighter Group with thanks to Mark Richie, Vice President, Association 4th FG WWII)

A/C 42-75457 P-47D-11-RE (the fourth YJ-A but unamed). Ahles is recorded as flying this aircraft on May 22, 1944, the day after Trudeau crashed his previous aircraft. It was lost with Lt. Joseph R. Farley on May 28, 1944. I suspect that given the short time the aircraft was with the Squadron Ahles would never have had time to name it. We have also confirmed that it was one of a batch of olive drab painted P-47s so it does not tally with the picture we have of the “Lonesome Polecat IV” which was natural metal finish.

A/C 42-26246 P-47D-22-RE. The fourth “Lonesome Polecat IV” and fifth YJ-A assigned to Lt. George N. Ahles. This was Ahles’ aircraft from sometime after May 28, 1944. It remained with him until he completed his tour and then passed to Lt. Harry D. Milligan who renamed it “Carolene” after his wife (picture on page 208 of Jonah’s Feet Are Dry).

YJ-B

YJ-C

YJ-D

YJ-E

YJ-F

YJ-G

YJ-H

YJ-I

A/C 44-14728 P-51D10-NA. The aircraft of Lt James F. Hinchey who named it ‘Thunderbug’ and also had a picture of a ‘Shooting Bunny’ painted on the tail. Hinchey flew this aircraft until March 2, 1945. It was then taken over by his friend Lt L. Blaine Highfield who renamed it ‘Persuader,’ but kept the rest of the artwork. Highfield flew the aircraft to Scotland for scrapping after the war.

James F. Hinchey’s personal model of his P-51 Mustang ‘Thunderbug.’

YJ-J

YJ-K

YK-L

YJ-M

YJ-N

YJ-O

YJ-P

YJ-Q

YJ-R

YJ-S

A/C 42-8395 P-47D-2-RE. The personal aircraft of 351st Squadron CO Major. Shannon Christian who named it “Cookie.” It was lost to flak November 25, 1943 piloted by Lt. Col. Loren G. McCollom who became a POW.

YJ-T

YJ-U

YJ-V

A/C 42-7958 P-47D-2-RE “Hawkeye.” The first aircraft assigned to and named by Lt. Vic L. Byers.

YJ-W

YJ-X

YJ-Y

YJ-Z

Serial Numbers without Codes

Names without Codes/Serials

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2 responses to “351st YJ Aircraft

  1. Robert F Hahn II

    My Father, 2nd LT Robert F Hahn, 351st Fighter Squadron, flew “YJ-V Bar” in combat.

  2. YJ-J was named Jeannie by Lt. John Trietz and later taken over by Lt. Max Hungate.

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