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Many of the 506th pilots came from other theaters of operations (Mediterranean, Europe) many instructors and most experienced flyers of other aircraft than the P-51D that they were flying at Iwo. Here Captain JJ Grant 462nd with his P-40 fighter. (click to enlarge)
Picture taken from a B-29 Superfortress with P-51D Mustang fighter planes escorting her to Japan.
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(webmaster note: you will find many original stories & photographs contained within this site. An extensive history of the 506th is being presented throughout the many historical pages created. Many of the photos and written text is from actual combat personnel of the 506th Fighter Group. There is several hours of reading material contained herein. Every attempt is made to reference credit were credit is due. Please contact the webmaster if you have any input as to reference material.
Letters From Iwo Jima: The Air War - aboard the Bloemfenstein somewhere in the Pacific Ocean heading for Iwo Jima. We are all rather anxious to get where we are going, to get to a place where we can unpack and fix it up and call it home for a little while. Most of us are anxious to start flying again - sometimes I think this flying business has gotten into my blood. I sure hope when peacetime comes that I can have a plane (of course a school teacher could not afford one) (JJ never did get his plane - he did obtain a Lt Colonel status in the Reserves but never flew after Iwo) All the enlisted men aboard got paid the other day. You could not walk around the decks without stepping into a crap game, a poker game or some type of game where they had a chance to increase their money.
Letters From Iwo Jima: The Air War