A Tribute the Man and his Planes.

 by    Greg Wise



Last Wartime rank:   Lt. Col


Preflight - Maxwell and Craig Fields                                                          

 Primary - Dorr Field, Fla, PT-17

Basic - Shaw Field, SC, BT-13

Advanced - Spence Field, GA, AT-6

Gunnery - Eglin, Fla, P-40

Graduated Feb 15, 1943 Class 43-B


  322nd FS, 326th FG OTU,   Westover, Mass. P-47 

  21st FS, 352nd FG. P-47 

  486th FS, 352nd FG P-47 (First  combat unit, operation Fall 1943 at  Bodney England)


  DSC,   Silver Star,   DFC plus 5 Oak Leaf Clusters,   Air Medal plus 14 OLCs,   ETO with 6 stars,   Croix de Guerre with Etoile

  d'Argent,   Purple Heart (Korean Conflict).

   Born:   December 5, 1918 Philadelphia


Shared E-boat (grnd) Feb. 1944

 6 locomotives (grnd obviously!) April 1944

 Shared Ju-52 (grnd) April 1944

 7 confirmed a/c dest and 5 damaged   (grnd) April 24 1944 - DSC                        

 Two Me-109 (air) May 8, 1944

 8 locomotives (grnd) May 1944     

 1.5 Me-109s (air) May 28th 1944

 1 Me-109 (air) June 21st 1944 -  Shuttle Mission - Record dist. vict.                             

 1 Fw-190 (air) March 2, 1945 Fw-190 from II/JG 301

7 destroyed a/c confirmed (grnd) April 15th 1945 - Silver Star                              

 3.5 Migs Confirmed (air) Korean Conflict - Sept-January 1952-53

 Assigned Combat Aircraft:                                                         

P-47D Razorback, PZ*Hbar "Happy" - Nose art of Disney character dwarf Happy, SN: 42-5183   

 P51B, PZ*Hbar, "HELL-ER-BUST" - Malcolm Hood, damaged on Russia Shuttle Mission, SN: 43-6704

P51D, PZ*Hbar, "HELL-ER-BUST"- SN: 44-14696

 F-86 Sabre, FU-756,"HELL-ER-BUST X" - Shark mouth nose art  SN: 51-2756

SERVICE: Flight School as above, Assigned to the 352nd FG for combat, operational in Fall of 1943 with 486th FS, flew two tours, participated in first three-way Shuttle Mission "Frantic" to Russia and Italy, served on the continent from advanced bases late 1944 through 1945, set one-mission 8th FC strafing record and later matched feat, holds record for victory furthest from home base by a fighter aircraft at 1000 miles during Shuttle over Brest Litovsk, post war served in WVANG, transferred to 16th FIS, 51st FIW during Korean conflict, downed over China January 1953, held and tortured for two years and four months by Chinese, released May 1955, on alert at Homestead AFB during 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, retired as Lt. Col in 1967.

 STORY: P-51B Damaged in dog fight during Russia Shuttle. Heller was determined to fly his airplane back after repairs, then prop damaged in rough field landing in Russia, repaired this, then  the motor then threw a rod on takeoff, replaced engine and flew homeward via Middle East ATC route alone, airplane confiscated by envious base commander in Casablanca, so Heller finally returned to home base of Bodney in England by ATC.

 STORY: P-51D Capt. Ed Heller of the 486th FS, 352nd FG, closes on the tail of an Focke Wulf FW-190D from II./JG 301 on March 2, 1945 in his P-51D Mustang "HELL-ER BUST". The 352nd "Bluenosers" arrived on the scene as the German fighters were making their move on B-17s from the 398th BG as the bombers make a turn over their target. Heller made Ace with this his fifth victory. He finished the war with 5.5 aerial kills and was the top strafer of the 352nd FG with 16.5 ground victories. 

STORY: F-86E Ed remained in the Air Force and eventually wound up in Korea flying F-86s with the 25th FIS, 51st FIW. He transferred to the 16th FIS in October of 1952 and was made Squadron Commander. An aggressive leader, Ed scored 3.5 aerial victories over MiGs before he was was shot down over Manchuria on January 23, 1953. After two years of mistreatment in China, Heller was finally released in 1955, two years after the end of the war. Col. Heller flew F-100s during the Cuban Missile Crisis before retiring from the Air Force in 1967. 

 QUOTE: Describes his second victory on May 8th 1944 with, "This was the hairiest combat I was ever in. On this day Cutler was probably smiling in anticipation as the two of us turned to attack 20 plus 109's, but I was scared shitless. Anyway, when I got that second 109 down on the deck it was hairy as he would turn around buildings so I couldn't pull lead on him. Finally we got into a just-above-stalling Lufbery and it was him or me just a few feet above the ground. I was very thankful when he broke out and I got the final burst in. As I dove in to take a picture of him, my coolant boiled over and came right back on the windscreen. I pulled up and in reflex automatically jammed the coolant door open. I climbed to 10,000 feet, heading home, and made a blind call on the radio that I would most likely bail out, but that I got two 109's. We had been way south of Berlin, and I chose 10,000 feet as it was too high for the light stuff and too low for the big guns. I was real concerned that my engine would quit over the Channel, but she kept going and I got home with it. The tech rep couldn't believe I'd flown for two hours after popping my coolant. He surmised that I'd saved a fraction of coolant and it turned to steam, providing the necessary cooling to make it home.



The kits used were the Tamiya P-51B and D Mustangs and the Hasegawa F-86-30 all in 1/48 scale. These kits have been well documented here on this site and I'll let Scott direct them to you, All I could add would be these are painless and beautiful kits that need little enhancement.

 The P-51B was built using the Jaguar detail set, Aeromasters decals and Moskit exhaust stacks also the Malcom hood was made from a old blister pack heated and smashed over the kit part (the only way to pose the canopy open) also small items were scratch built and added  like brake lines, aerial whip and such things. All the aftermarket items were a pleasure and offered no difficultly.

 The P-51D was built using a True details cockpit, Strike Eagle decals and a canopy from a Hasegawa kit, the flight controls on both mustangs were cut and repositioned, and like the B mustang this one also had minor scratch built items added. A few mistakes were made on this kit that were pointed out to me that I should mention like the ETO mustangs did not have a long wire and the wings seams were filled, the funny thing is that when I did this model I was aware of this but somehow I still managed to screw it up, aside from that the after market cockpit fit like a glove and I'm pleased with the finished model.

 The F-86 was built using the Airwaves F-86E wing conversion, Aires masters cockpit and Aeromaster Decals, I would also like to thank Mr T Cleaver for the tips on backdating the F into a E . I did the NMF of this model and the D mustang using Alclad finishes and model master enamels on all three planes. Basic modeling skills were my handicaps and I hope to continue to improve them. That said I cannot recommend the airwaves conversion kit, the instructions and templates just don't jive you really must study a scale drawing to get this thing right also prayer played a key factor. The resin and etch parts are very delicate and must be handled as such.


 Well the painting is the most labor intensive part of the hobby for me, because I build in my office (spare room with computer and models) but my wife will not allow me to use a airbrush in the house so all this is done out in my garage. Now as for the P-51B this was a green FS34102 over a neutral gray FS36270, I lighten these two colors a bit with a little white, the ID stripes were also painted with insignia white the blue nose was done with M M acrly paint. The cockpit was finished out in M M enamels and a light wash of brown Detailer.

 The P-51D started with a base coat of M M semi gloss Black Acrly paint I let this dry couple of days, this was sprayed over a flawless plastic surface that everyone knows is the key to a good NMF after that I sprayed the plane with a alclad base coat on white aluminum and masked amd sprayed different panels different shades on alclad except for the wings they were painted silver the rest of the colors were done in M M enamels and washed the panel lines with a dark gray sludge

 The F-86E was pretty much finished out the same as the P-51D the yellow bands were painted on and a coat of M M metalizer sealer was used to get a overall even dullness. I also use SuperScale data stencils, as for the cockpit colors I was a little unsure of what were the correct colors to be used I guess some cockpits were all black while others had gray and black with red seats I chose the latter because I found a old F-86 manual at work that had color line drawings that were in the colors mentioned, I'm sure I will be corrected after a few Sabre buffs see this.


I like the History behind the subject as much as the model, which is why I did this set of models. I would have liked to had included Ed Heller's P-47 but I could not find any decals or photos of this bird. My next tribute will be to Bruce Carr and his ANGELS PLAYMATE airplanes plus the FW190 he stole from a German airbase. I will have to have decals made for his F-86 but his P-51D's are plentiful, go figure. I also want to do Robin Olds.


The Blusenose Bastards of Bodney, Fine Books Publishing Company. 

Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force, Osprey Aviation. 

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