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Пилот данного самолета - лейтенант Фред Брандт, 512-ая истребительная эскадрилья, Бельгия.
Enlisting with the U.S. Army when Brandt was 19 in November of 1942, he was apart of the Army's Aviation Cadet program, and was stationed at Moore Air Base, Mission, Texas. There he flew the AT-6 Texan, in preparation for war.
After obtaining his wings, he was assigned to the 512th Fighter Squadron, and was sent to France, November 1944, flying a P-47D-22 Razorback.
It was around this time, 70 years ago when Brandt and the rest of the pilots of the 512th were tasked with close ground support of the allied troops in the area, strafing anything from gun AA placements to tank columns.
It wasn't until February, when Brandt was assigned L3-0, or "Angie" from the previous pilot, Lt. Walker Diamanti, who left the 512 for a tour in the Pacific. It was Diamanti who had the "Angie" name painted on the cowling blaze, after one of his childhood friends back home. The pin-up girl was not added by Walker or the 512th, but by the 406th Depot, who had taken a hold of the aircraft for refitting.
During the beginning of 1945, "Angie" would be flown by Brandt and another pilot from the 406th, Col. Grossetta. Also during this period, other physical changes occurred on the aircraft. Like the replacement olive drab colored vertical and horizontal stabilizers, and even an olive drab right wing, cannibalized from other P-47's.
They were also given Group ID coloring on the vertical stabilizers of red, blue and yellow stripes. Yellow was for the 512th, red for the 513th and blue for the 514th. This is the same reason for the yellow scalloped nose paint.
Brandt flew his last mission with on February 24th, 1945. On that day, he and three other pilots, attacked a spotted rail and motor traffic targets. Brandt and his wing man successfully engaged rail cars at treetop height, that turned out to be loaded with ammunition which then blew up in front of them. The force of the explosion and impacts of flying debris badly damaged, and bending the propeller blades back and denting the cowling, which shattered his windshield showering Brandt's face and eyes with shards of glass.
Reference photos after the accident show L3-0 with an olive drab tail and right wing in April/May. This would explain the changes in the Pin up and cowling section.
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