on plate by Robert Winks
357th Fighter Group Ace
Signed on plate by Merle Olmsted MSGT, USAF (RET)
Historian, 357th Fighter Group
Olmsted served as a ground crewman with the 357th fighter group and is
currently the official historian for the 357th. He is the author of
several fine books including his latest, "To War with the Yoxford
Man: Maj. Richard “Bud” Peterson of the 357th Fighter Group
The story of this scene is best told by Samuel Harry Glasser,
radio operator-gunner aboard a B-17G called the "Outhouse
Mouse." His formation was about to be jumped by a pack of Luftwaffe
fighters but the B17s were being escorted by P-51 Mustangs. The pilot of
"Hurry Home Honey" radioed his 'big friend' and said, "I'll
be right back, fellas. I'm gonna go play with these boys." Looks like
he played for keeps because he came back. The pilot of that plane was
Richard "Bud" Peterson. *
Richard Peterson is shown here just as he opens fire on his second
opponent, the Luftwaffe flight leader's wingman. His first opponent can be
seen free falling away from his stricken ME 109 as he wisely waits to lose
speed before opening his parachute.
Richard Peterson was a well loved fighter pilot of the 357 th fighter
group and went on to score 15.5 aerial victories and become one of the
greatest Mustang aces of the war.
Machine: P51D Mustang
This famous Mustang “Hurry Home Honey” is said to be named
after the letters Richard Peterson received from his wife during the
campaign. The letters must have worked because he made it home.
The P51 Mustang is well
known as one of the most outstanding fighters ever produced during WWII.
Rushed into production with advanced aerodynamic features such as laminar
flow wings the “D” model was powered by the legendary 12 cylinder
liquid cooled Rolls Royce Merlin (built under license by Packard) and
achieved a speed of 437 miles per hour in level flight, a climb rate of
3,475 ft/min. and a service ceiling of 42,000 feet. It was armed with 6
“.50 cal” machine guns.
It's most important feature was its exceptional range allowing the Allies
for the first time to escort Allied bombers on their entire perilous
mission deep into central Europe . This escort greatly reduced bomber and
aircrew losses. It is said that when air marshal Goering saw Allied
bombers being escorted by Mustangs over Germany he knew the war was over.
Provided by Jeff Glasser