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Chuck_Older
09-04-2004, 04:46 PM
I can find plenty of info on Gentile's Mustang career. I don't have a lot of P-47 reference, however.

Did Gentile ever fly P-47s?

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Killers in America work seven days a week~
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Chuck_Older
09-04-2004, 04:46 PM
I can find plenty of info on Gentile's Mustang career. I don't have a lot of P-47 reference, however.

Did Gentile ever fly P-47s?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/BBB3.jpg
Killers in America work seven days a week~
Clash

berg417448
09-04-2004, 04:52 PM
It would appear so:


http://www.kitparade.com/features01/p47dfw_1.htm

Chuck_Older
09-04-2004, 04:56 PM
I thought so!

Thanks

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Killers in America work seven days a week~
Clash

berg417448
09-04-2004, 04:59 PM
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/gentile.html

According to this site he flew both the P-47C and P-47D and has 4.3 kills credited in the type.

rummyrum
09-04-2004, 05:03 PM
He also flew a spitfire Mk Vb before the 4th fighter group was created from the Debden Eagles. Read about their shift from the agile spitfire to the Jug....I dont think these guys cared too much for the Jug and welcomed the P51.

9./JG54 Rummy

horseback
09-04-2004, 08:52 PM
From "1000 Destroyed: the Life and Times of the 4th Fighter Group', by Grover C. Hall:

"One day the 4th's three squadrons were escorting the Big Friends on another mission in the Paris area. Gentile bagged one FW and was pumping away at a second. He roared earthward at about 650 mph., guns flaming. The Hun dived straight into the ground with an orange spray flash and his slipstream almost sucked Gentile into the ground after him. Gentile put the stick in his belly to climb back up to the rest of his squadron.

He had concentrated on his shooting in the dive, serene in the belief that his wingman was screening his tail. As his plane groaned out of the powerful leaden Thunderbolt dive, Gentile heard the muffled thump of FW 190 cannon fire and saw what is called 'corruption' fly over his port wing. Gentile's earphones flapped with the urgent cry of another pilot:

"Break Gentle, break! Break, Gentle, you damfool!"

Gentle was Gentile's nickname.

Miles away over the Channel, Maj General Kepner was cruising about following the combat over his radio. To Gen. Kepner the shout sounded like:

'Break General, you damfool!'

General Kepner couldn't imagine who could be flying in combat with enough rank to address him as a damfool, but just the same, he told Gentile later, he reefed his Thunderbolt around and broke like mad to port.

Gentile went into a tight turn with the Hun. Not many pilots could turn in a Thunderbolt on the deck with an FW 190, but Gentile had the skill and was too frightened to worry about spinning out. The Hun had his No. 2 glued on his wing and he soon showed Gentile he was a tough adversary. Gentile went shuddering and shaking over the treetops with the two Germans. He was cold with fright, the same as he had been in his green RAF days when he escaped aGerman assailant with violent black-out turns and pull-outs, thus winning the betr that his body could stand more black-outs than the German's.

On some reverse turns, Gentile squirted what little ammmunition he had left at the other two Jerries. Now he found himself without ammunition and with two determined, accomplished killers on his tail. In the head-on attacks the German discerned that the Thunderbolt's wings were not firing; this made him press the attack that much more resolutely. The Hun peppered Gentile with some 30 degree deflection shots. Gentile pulled away and flicked down.

One of the Germans had been lost in the maneuvering and Gentile found himself going in circles over the trees, rawhided by the German. Gentile was defenseless without ammunition; his one chance of surviving the vendetta was to evade the German fire until his ammunition was also exhausted. The German kept pressing for the one brief opportunity of lining up the Thunderbolt in his sights. Gentile hand got clammy on the throttle.

'Help! Help! I'm being clobbered!' Gentile screamed in near panic.

Somewhere above the clouds the rest of his squadron was flying about. Until this day Gentile remembers the imperturbable drawl of Willard Millikan answering:

'Now, if if you will tell me your call sign and approximate position we'll send help.'

Gentile shot back 'I'm down here by a railroad track with a 190!'

But Millikan couldn't find Gentile. The duel--cannon vs flying skill--went on down below. Characteristically, Gentile began talking to himself: '...Keep calm Gentile...don't panic.'

Gentile still managed to keep one jump ahead of the German, but his desperation mounted. The Hun was lathered and remorseless, having seen the American clobber the two 190 pilots, his acquaintances, and perhaps his friends. He knew by now that the American with the 'Donnie Boy' insignia was a superlative pilot; this was a chance to blast an American ace out of the sky without risk. He kept firing, but the American always climbed or banked just inside his line of fire.

Gentile felt like giving up; he was going to be shot down anyway; it would be better to get some altitude and bail out. But he had some last words:

'Horseback, Horseback! If I don't get back--tell'em I got two 190s!'

The two fighters were flat-out on the deck, down by the railroad track, the German on the American's tail firing. The German began to close the gap. Gentile suddenly honked his ship up and stood it on his prop until it quivered and was ready to stall out. For the first time Gentile had gotten above the Hun and could have swooped down on him for a kill had his ammunition not been exhausted.

Gentile preserved himself. He had made the Hun fire all his ammunition without hitting him. The German suddenly peeled off and sulked home, his kameraden unavenged.

Gentile bounced down the runway at Debden. He didn't bother to gun the motor before switching it off. He was spent and worn, his very fingers heavy with weariness. The intelligence officer jumped onto the wing of his plane to interrogate him. Gentile didn't answer, just sitting in the cockpit rolling his eyes and panting.

One of the pilots composed a song to be sung to the tune of Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching. It became a Debden theme song. The chorus:

Help, Help, I'm being clobbered,
Down by the railroad track,
Two 190s chase me 'round
And we're damn near to the ground
Tell them I got two if I don't make it
back!"

cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

Waldo.Pepper
09-04-2004, 09:26 PM
Thanks horseback I enjoyed that.

wayno7777
09-04-2004, 10:57 PM
Bump, Horseback great read. Gotta get it!

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Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!

JG14_Josf
09-05-2004, 06:38 AM
Thanks, that was great!

Jim098
09-05-2004, 03:39 PM
1000 Destroyed is a good book. Dated but from a PR officer that was there.
I picked up a reprint of it and Horrido in 1980 or so.
Worth it.