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Maj. George E. Preddy
487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, 8th Air Force


A Quick History of the 352nd FG
"Archive" Photos of the 352nd FG
The 22 Mustang Aces of the 352nd FG
Distinguished Pilots of the 352nd FG

A Quick History of the 352nd FG

The 352nd FG started out assigned to the US 8th Air Force, and was based at Bodney (Station 141) in Norfolk, England. Three squadrons made up the 352nd FG; the 328th FS, the 486th FS, and the 487th FS.

The 352nd FG first entered action in the ETO September 9th, 1943 flying P-47's (D model razorbacks) under the command of Col. Joseph L. Mason. The 352nd converted to P-51B's on April 8th 1944. It began to receive its first P-51D's in June of 1944.

About a month after the 352nd FG received its P-51's, Lt. Carl Luksic destroyed 5 enemy fighters in one mission, becoming the first pilot in the ETO to do so. Overall the 352nd FG scored 27 kills that day and received a Presidential Unit Citation for the day's combat. On June 26th 1944, one squadron from the 352nd joined the 4th FG to escort 114 B-17s on a shuttle bombing mission, taking them to Russia.

On August 6th 1944, Major George Preddy (top scoring Mustang ace, and commander of the 328th FS) had an outstanding day scoring six kills for which he received the Distinguished Service Cross. Preddy commanded the 328th FS and went on to become the top Mustang ace of WW II.

During the Ardennes offensive, the 352nd was rotated to Y-29 (a.k.a. Asche) in Belgium, under 9th AF command. While operating out of Belgium the 352nd ran on dark times. On Christmas Eve Preddy joined in a craps game, and scooped in the pot of $1000. Unfortunately, he was to suffer a turn in his luck.

On Christmas Day Preddy led the 328th FS on a low level patrol. He had already scored two kills and was on firing on a third enemy aircraft along with an American anti-aircraft battery. The anti-aircraft battery under-led the Luftwaffe plane and hit Preddy instead, putting two .50-caliber rounds into him. His P-51 crashed in a snowy field. The 352nd FG's highest scoring ace with 26 kills was dead at the hands of friendly troops.

The 352nd fought on, continuing to see a lot of action. Two days later, in a mass dogfight near Bonn, they scored 22 kills.

On New Year's Eve Lt. Col. John Meyer postponed the 487th FS's party, instead planning on flying an early patrol on New Year's Day. Meyer had a hunch that the Luftwaffe might gamble that the American pilots would be hung over on New Year's, and make an attack. As it turned out, Meyer's hunch was right, and a battle occurred that soon became known as the 'Legend of Y-29'.

As the 487th FS took off, they were attacked by a large number of German fighters, part of a huge attack on the fighter fields in Belgium, carried out by nearly 800 Luftwaffe fighters. The 352nd tore apart the German fighters scoring 23 kills, John Meyer adding two to his eventual score of 24. The 487th FS was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation, the only one awarded in northwest Europe.

On April 13th 1945, the 352nd moved back to Bodney where they finished the war. The 352nd FG finished with a final score of 519 kills against 118 losses, one of the best kill ratios in the ETO.

"Archive" Photos of the 352nd FG

The following photos are courtesy of Phil Callihan. Visit "Phil's Military Aircraft Page" for other aircraft photos.

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Flight line photo of Capt. William Whisner's 'Moonbeam McSWINE', circa late 1980's, Selfridge ANG Airshow 'Moonbeam McSWINE', 1994, Aviation Heritage Airshow, Clark County Airport, Indiana
Close-up of 'Moonbeam McSWINE', circa late 1980's, Selfridge ANG Airshow
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'Rascal III', circa late 1980's, Detroit City Airport Airshow 'Rascal III', circa late 1980's, Detroit City Airport Airshow

The 22 Mustang Aces of the 352nd

Name Rank P-51 Victories Total Victories Notes
Stephen W. Andrew Maj. 7 8
Ernest O. Bostrom Lt. 5 5
Donald S. Bryan Capt. 7 13.33 a
Charles J. Cesky Capt. 8.5 8.5
Frank A. Cutler Capt. 5.5 7.5
William T. Halton Maj. 7.5 8.5
Edwin L. Heller Capt. 5.5 5.5
William O. Jackson Lt. Col. 6 7
Earl R. Lazear Lt. 5 5
Raymond H. Littge Capt. 10.5 10.5
Carl J. Luksic Lt. 8.5 8.5 a
John C. Meyer Lt. Col. 21 24
Henry J. Miklajcyk Capt. 7.5 7.5
Sanford K. Moats Lt. 8.5 8.5
Glennon T. Moran Lt. 12 13
George E. Preddy, Jr. Maj. 23.83 26.83 a, b
Duerr H. Schuh Lt. 5 5
Alexander F. Sears Lt. 5 5
William J. Stengel Capt. 5 5
Everett W. Stewart Col. 6 7.83 c
John F Thornell, Jr. Lt. 11 17.25
William T. Whisner Capt. 14.5 15.5 a

a = Ace in a Day
b = KIA (let the webmaster know if there are others)
c = Also served with the 355th FG

Distinguished Pilots of the 352nd FG

Maj. Donald S. Bryan

Squadrons: 328th
Planes Flown: Little One II
Little One III
Short Bio:

Lt. Col. William T. Halton

Squadrons: 487th
Planes Flown: Slender, Tender and TALL
Short Bio:

Capt. Raymond H. Littge

Squadrons: 487th
Planes Flown: Pluribus Unum
Silver Dollar
Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross
Short Bio:

Lt. Col. John C. Meyer

Squadrons: 487th
Planes Flown: Lambie II
Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Short Bio:

Lt. Glennon T. Moran

Squadrons: 487th
Planes Flown: Little Ann
Short Bio:

Maj. George E. Preddy

Squadrons: 487th, 328th
Planes Flown: CRIPES A'MIGHTY 2nd
Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross
Short Bio:

Lt. John F. Thornell, Jr.

Squadrons: 328th
Planes Flown: PATTY ANN II
Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross
Short Bio:

Capt. William T. Whisner

Squadrons: 487th
Planes Flown: Princess ELIZABETH
Moonbeam McSWINE
Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross
Oak leaf cluster to the DSC
Short Bio:

... and more coming.

©1996, 352nd Fighter Group
Last Updated on 05/22/96