On the Saturday following Thanksgiving 2013, Ms. Karen, my 94-year-old father, Bill Gressinger, and I were visiting Pima Air and Space Museum.
We were in Hanger #4 to view the beautifully restored B-29, when I happened to take notice of a P-51 Mustang near the big bomber. It’s name … “Bad Angel”.
I was admiring its aerodynamic lines and recalled enough history to know that until the Mustangs came into service, the skies over the Pacific Ocean were dominated by Japanese Zeros.
Then something very strange caught my eye. Proudly displayed on the fuselage of “Bad Angel” were the markings of the pilot’s kills: seven Nazis; one Italian; one Japanese … AND ONE AMERICAN. Huh? “Bad Angel” shot down an American airplane?
Was it a terrible mistake? Couldn’t be. If it had been an unfortunate misjudgment, certainly the pilot would not have displayed the American flag.
I knew there had to be a good story here. Fortunately for us, one of the Museum’s many fine docents was on hand to tell it. Read More