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31st Fighter Group
Country : US
|31st Fighter Group Aviation Art Collection|
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|Aces for : 31st Fighter Group|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|James L Brooks||13.00||The signature of James L Brooks features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Robert J Goebel||11.00||The signature of Robert J Goebel features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|J D Collinsworth||6.00||The signature of J D Collinsworth features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|William J Dillard||6.00|
|William A Daniel||5.00|
|Aircraft for : 31st Fighter Group|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by 31st Fighter Group. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : North American
The ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
Manufacturer : Supermarine
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1948
Number Built : 20351
Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
|Signatures for : 31st Fighter Group|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Captain Jim Brooks
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Captain Jim Brooks
| Captain Jim Brooks |
Jim Brooks joined the 31st Fighter Group in Italy in early 1944, flying the P51 against Me109s, Fw190s, and the Italian Macchi Mc202. He scored his first victory on a mission to Ploesti. Later, leading the 307th Fighter Squadron on a Russian shuttle mission, they engaged a large formation of Ju87 Stukas, shooting down 27 enemy aircraft, Jim Brooks accounting for three of them. He ended his tour with 280 combat hours, and 13 confirmed victories.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by J Collinsworth
| J Collinsworth |
RAF fighter ace with 6 victories. Born in Dublin, Texas, he is one of the few Americans to become an ace flying the Supermarine Spitfire. March 1942 saw him in England flying in the 31st. F.G., 307th Squadron. This was the first Yank fighter unit in the country since WWI. On August 19, 1942, he received his baptism of fire above the ill-fated commando raid on the coast of France. Later, Collinsworth helped spearhead Operation Torch landings in Oran, Algeria, still flying Spitfires. He covered the landings at southern Sicily, flying from Maltas sister island Gozo. In 125 combat sorties, he shot down 6 Axis aircraft, 1 probable and 1 damaged. He finished his military career as a Colonel. His Spitfire is seen low left in Defiance at Dieppe. Awards include D.F.C. with 1 O.L.C., Air Medal with 17 O.L.C.s, the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal.
Colonel Bob Goebel
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Colonel Bob Goebel
| Colonel Bob Goebel |
December 1943 found Bob Goebel in North Africa flying Spitfires in preparation for joining the 31st Fighter Group. As soon as they arrived they re-equipped with P51 Mustangs and flew to Italy, where Bob flew a total of 62 combat missions, including 16 hazardous trips to the Romanian oilfields. During his combat operations he led his squadron into action seven times, and his entire Group twice, whilst still only aged 21. He ended the war with 11 air victories. Sadly, Bob Goebel passed away on 20th February 2011.
Lt Gen George Loving
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Lt Gen George Loving
| Lt Gen George Loving |
George Loving first saw combat in 1943, and flew over 100 missions in Spitfires before the 31st Fighter Group converted to the P-51. He took part in air battles over Italy, France, Germany and many other European countries while serving in the Mediterranean Theater, becoming an Ace in the P-51. During the Korean War he commanded an F-80 Squadron flying 113 missions against the North Koreans and Chinese communist forces before retiring to the U.S.A. as a test pilot. He retired in 1979 as Commander, 5th Air Force in Japan.
First Lieutenant Clint White
Click the name above to see prints signed by First Lieutenant Clint White
| First Lieutenant Clint White |
Clint white joined up in November 1942 and after training as a pilot, was posted over to Europe, joining the 15th Air Force in the Mediterranean flying P-51s with the 309th FS, 31st Fighter Group. The 15th Air Force was engaged in the strategic offensive against targets in Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe. Clint flew his first combat mission in February 1944, and soon got into the action, including being jumped by two Me262 jets as he flew escort to bombers heading to Berlin and back.
|Aviation History Timeline : 6th May|
|6||May||1917||Albert Ball of No.56 Squadron RFC was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross|
|6||May||1918||Jean Chaput, a WW1 Ace with 16.00 victories, died on this day|
|6||May||1918||W Wells, a WW1 Ace with 10.00 victories, died on this day|
|6||May||1941||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, P/O J. Howard of 54 & 74 Squadrons, was Killed.|
|6||May||1941||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, P/O N. le C. Agazarian of 609 Squadron, was Killed.|
|6||May||1941||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, Sgt. A. D. Whitsun of 236 Squadron, was Killed.|
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