368th Fighter Group in Action
Pre-deployment training - June 1943 to Dec 1943
All photographs are the property of the 368th Fighter Group Association.
High resolution images for approved publication or for members of the 368th FG Association are available
upon request.
Please e-mail me with any requests, comments, questions, or corrections.
This page is dedicated to 395th
pilot Lt. Charles Rust
Killed on October 6th, 1943 in a
crash at Farmingdale, NY
Rare color photo of 395th FS preparing to take off during
aerial gunnery training in October 1943.
395th Sq. Commander Lt. Col Henry Quimby is in the
closest plane, 42-74840, a P-47D-6RE Coded K23.  Note
only 2 guns are installed in each wing.
Another rare color photo of 395th FS Pilots
Alexander LeLoup, Bob Fay, Richard Kik Jr., Cliff Gamble,
Al Kleinklaus, Joe Williams, & Jim Early (down front)
395th FS Pilots during pre-deployment FTX
(Field Training Exercise)
Flightline at Republic Field, Farmingdale, NY.
Note only 2 guns installed on these 368th FG P-47D-6-RE's
#3 in this flight is K1 "Brass Hat" flown by
368th FG Commander Col. Gilbert Meyer
Top:  George Reynolds atop Col. Meyer's "Brass Hat"

Left:  395th FS Crew Chiefs
George Reynolds, Milt Brophy, & Vern Powers
Note the cowling on "Brass Hat"
The 3 colors represent each of the 368th Fighter Group's Squadrons.
Mitchel Field Flightline
Due to limited space at Republic Field,
the 397th FS was stationed at nearby
Mitchel Field.
Note the 320th FS, 326th FG insignia painted on 397th
FS Commander Lt. Col. Haesler's P-47C.  The 368th FG
was formed from the 326th FG.
These early P-47C's were soon replaced by new

Left:  320th FS Patch.
Top:  Lt. Col. John Haesler, 1st Commander of the 397th FS

Left:  This photo of 397th FS Crew Chief William Hirschfeld taken at
Mitchel Field appeared in a September 1943 issue of Boy's Life
Randall "Pinky" Hendricks
Future Commander & Ace of the 397th FS
Randall Hendricks & Bob Gibson
Joe Marini with ground crew in front of Marini's "Dirty Joe"  Marini
would use "Dirty Joe" on his aircraft overseas as well.
P-47D-6-RE coded K23 inflight & on the ground with 395th FS
396th FS Pilot's Joe McLachlan, Irv Ostuw,
Clarence Olson (on wing) & Ode Ryerson
The ground crewmembers are the
backbone of any flying unit.

Some of the specialties that are required to
keep the planes in the air:

Aircraft Crew Chief
Aircraft Inspector
Aircraft Engineering Technician
Aircraft Hydraulic Mechanic
Aircraft Sheet Metal
Power Plant (Engine) Mechanic
Propeller Mechanic
Aviation Ordnance
Electrical Instrument Specialist
Radio Mechanic (Avionics)
Camera Technician
Parachute Rigger & Repairman

Dozens more support the unit as a whole:
Cooks, supply, medical, admin, weather,
intel, communications, & many more!
Top & Left:  396th FS Mechanic / Crew Chief Arnold Stephens
397th FS in flight over the NY countryside.
P-47D-6-RE Code K78 is flown by Lt. Rudy Marko.

Photo was taken by Republic Aviation for promotional
Top: 397th FS Pilots Lt. Marini, Lt. Hendricks, and
397th CO Lt. Col. Haesler.

Left:  Pilots honed their aerial gunnery skills on the
skeet field, shooting skeet taught pilots how to lead
targets and make deflection shots.
George Hughes
pre-flighting his
aircarft before
aerial gunnery
368th Fighter Group party prior to deployment overseas