Aircraft Hell Hawks P-47D WW2

Col Ray James Stecker

365th Fighter Group Commander, Colonel Ray James Stecker, photographed sat in a P-47D-27-RE at A-7 Azeville Advanced Landing Ground1.

The ruins of Ch√Ęteau de Fontenay can be seen in the background, which was destroyed by fire earlier in the war.

Original: IWM UPL 39903

Hell Hawks WW2

2nd Lieutenant Mahlon Tallmadge Stelle

Remembering 2nd Lieutenant Stelle, of Burlington Iowa, a P-47D pilot who flew with the 387th Squadron of the famous “Hell Hawks”.

Having left RAF Beaulieu on the afternoon of 7th June 1944, on a mission to support the breakout of Allied forces from the Normandy beachhead, Mahlon spotted a column of enemy half-tracks and began his attack.

During the dive, Lt. Stelle “took several damaging hits”1 and, to the horror of his comrades, crashed and was killed South-West of Villers-Bocage.

Original Image: IWM UPL 46502
  1. Dorr, R & Jones, T 2008, Hell Hawks! The untold story of the American Fliers Who Savaged Hitler’s Wermacht Zenith Press

Aircraft Hell Hawks P-47D WW2

Captain Norman Vane Beaman

Captain Beaman was a pilot flying with 365th Fighter Group, 388th Fighter Squadron USAAF, during the Second World War.

He’s pictured sat in the cockpit of a P-47D, with the original image (below) giving a location of RAF Beaulieu, in the New Forest, and a date of May 1944.

A few weeks later, on the 18th of July 1944, it is said that Captain Beaman shot down two enemy Messerschmitt Bf 109s, one of which was on the tail of a P-51D, before being shot down himself. He was able to bail out of his aircraft, near Flers, France, and evade capture. Beaman was reunited with his squadron within few weeks of the incident1.

IWM UPL 46763

The original image (above) was sourced from the American Air Museum collection.