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cousin Wilbur’s B-24 nose art — update

As a followup to my post and queries about cousin Wilbur’s (S/Sgt Wilbur F. Whiting, USAAF) sketch for the Scrubbed Goose, the helpful folks over on the message boards at armyairforces.com haven’t been able to locate an actual aircraft with that name, but it could have been a sketch for a plane which was lost before it was christened and painted. But my mother confirms that Wilbur told her he had indeed painted the nose of several B-24s while he was stationed in the parachute shop at Attlebridge field (Norfolk), serving the 466th Bomb Group (heavy) from 1944 to 1945. One of them was Lady Lightning, of whom I have a snapshot from Wilbur’s collection:

A nearly identical photo (!) here is accompanied by the information that this aircraft was shot down over the Netherlands on 15 Aug 1944. Mother says that Wilbur kept a colored sketch for this, which he gave before his death to his longtime friends Delia and Jack.

While I’ve posted the Lady Lightning picture, I may as well share a few other photos of Wilbur himself and the parachute shop guys (and friends) from the Attlebridge airfield.

Wilbur is at the back left on the rear sewing machine. Here he is holding out a hanging chute for the camera (a very dark, small trimmed contact print):

This is a better shot of the hanging chutes and the workspace, though Wilbur isn’t in it:

Here is the chute shop crew together (Wilbur at bottom):

The couch shot is my favorite (Wilbur on right):

And here is Wilbur, posing with one of his parachute-silk scarves:

Finally, the only color snapshot from this era, in uniform, and with the some Red Cross friends. All smiles: maybe after VE Day?

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  1. [...] posting this picture of Lady Lightning, a B-24 that went down over the Netherlands on 15 August 1944, I have heard from two people near [...]

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