A Celebration
of the
WW II P-51 Mustang
Story and Pictures

Chapter 1
Bruce Carr

Colonel Bruce Carr grew up in Union Springs, N.Y. He flew for the 9th Air Force, 354th Group, 353rd Fighter Squadron and was credited with 15 air victories. His first victory over an Me109 on 3/8/44 brought him admonishment for, “being overly agressive in combat”. He later became known as “Pecks bad boy”. Colonel Carr also served in Korea and Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force and passed away in Florida in April, 1998.

A current replica of Bruce Carr's P-51
“Angel's Playmate”.

Photo ctsy. of P-51 Mustang Survivors

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The Story
Introducing Bruce Carr

A Fighter Pilot

After carrying a dead chicken for several days, 20-year-old Bruce Carr still hadn't decided how to cook it without the Germans catching him. But, as hungry as he was, he couldn't bring himself to eat it. In his mind, no meat was better than raw meat, so he threw it away. Resigning himself to what appeared to be his unavoidable fate, he turned in the direction of the nearest German airfield. Even POW's get to eat. Sometimes. And aren't they constantly dodging from tree to tree, ditch to culvert. And he was exhausted.

He was tired of trying to find cover where there was none. Carr hadn't realized that Czechoslovakian forests had no underbrush until, at the edge of the farm field, he struggled out of his parachute and dragged it into the woods.

During the times he had been screaming along at treetop level in his P-51 "Angels Playmate" the forests and fields had been nothing more than a green blur behind the Messerchmitts, Focke-Wulfs, trains and trucks he had in his sights. He never expected to find himself a pedestrian far behind enemy lines.

Next three illustrations are images from gun-camera film of US fighter aircraft, recorded over Europe in WW II.

Ctsy. of Life's Picture History of World War II, Time Inc., NY, 1950

The instant antiaircraft shrapnel ripped into the engine, he knew he was in trouble .... serious trouble.

Clouds of coolant steam hissing through jagged holes in the cowling told Carr he was about to ride the silk elevator down to a long walk back to his squadron. A very long walk. This had not been part of the mission plan.

Bruce Carr stands by “Angels Playmate” During WW II

Photo ctsy. of Stallion 51

Several years before, when 18-year-old Bruce Carr enlisted in the Army, in no way could he have imagined himself taking a walking tour of rural Czechoslovakia with Germans everywhere around him. When he enlisted, all he had focused on was flying airplanes — fighter airplanes.

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