P-51B S/N 42-106700

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Anyone have an idea where I could find a photo of P-51B-10-NA S/N 42-106700 of the 339th Fighetr Group, 504th Fighter Squadron? The airplane was shot down on 10 Jun 1944 while on a dive bombing and strafing mission to Redon, France and came down in the channel. The cause is variously described as ground fire damaging the cooling system or the fuel tanks. The pilot 1st Lt Hetzel Boden survived the bailout and was captured by the Germans.

1st Lt Boden was the uncle of a friend of mine, born soon after the shootdown and named after his uncle, who was MIA at the time.
 

CATCH 22

Staff Sergeant
1,084
1,809
Sep 15, 2006
Canada
Anyone have an idea where I could find a photo of P-51B-10-NA S/N 42-106700 of the 339th Fighetr Group, 504th Fighter Squadron? The airplane was shot down on 10 Jun 1944 while on a dive bombing and strafing mission to Redon, France and came down in the channel. The cause is variously described as ground fire damaging the cooling system or the fuel tanks. The pilot 1st Lt Hetzel Boden survived the bailout and was captured by the Germans.

1st Lt Boden was the uncle of a friend of mine, born soon after the shootdown and named after his uncle, who was MIA at the time.
Did you try "Little Friends"?
Go there and scroll down to Group Gallery of 339-th FG.- there are 19 pages of photos, didn't check them all. If there is any photo of this particular a/c, it should be in the collection.
Cheers!
 

Spitlead

Airman 1st Class
126
91
Feb 19, 2019
I realize this thread is old but thought I would provide some small info. The Little Friends site , 339th Fighter Group – Little Friends – US 8th Army Air Force Fighter Command appears to show the same aircraft was also attached to the 505th Fighter Squadron at some point. It was most likely in the 505th previous to the 504th. I also was able to find a photo of the aircraft based on the a/c serial number. The photo is credited from the American Air Museum in Britain. Lt. Boden may be airman kneeling in the lower left corner as he appears to be a pilot. The others appear to be the ground crew.
 

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MIflyer

1st Sergeant
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May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Thanks! I looked at Little Friends website and forwarded the link to my friend. I did notice they had spelled his name wrong at one point, "Borden" instead of Boden. Presumably he can recognize his uncle and thus may be able to tell if that is him.

My friend looked at the American Air Museum in Great Britain website but it was only up and working partially at the time since it was undergoing maintenance.
 

junkman3353

Airman
16
15
Jun 1, 2019
Thanks! I looked at Little Friends website and forwarded the link to my friend. I did notice they had spelled his name wrong at one point, "Borden" instead of Boden. Presumably he can recognize his uncle and thus may be able to tell if that is him.

My friend looked at the American Air Museum in Great Britain website but it was only up and working partially at the time since it was undergoing maintenance.
Don't know if this helps or hinders. I've got some photos that are identified as "Problem" in the photo above. The 'problem' is that plane had a s/n of 42-106644 and lasted long enough to attain "war weary" status (the WW markings behind the crew) meaning it was worn out and reverted to training or hack usage and thus wouldn't have been in a position to be shot down. The best I would venture is that the above photo was taken of Lt Boden in front of a plane that wasn't the one you were looking for. You can also see that the assigned pilot was a Lt Corbin. I think what you have above is a "hero" shot for the folks back home.
dfrGDua.jpg

And this is a full right side shot of #644 as you can see it had another name of the "off side".
uG1tTvl.jpg
 

Spitlead

Airman 1st Class
126
91
Feb 19, 2019
Don't know if this helps or hinders. I've got some photos that are identified as "Problem" in the photo above. The 'problem' is that plane had a s/n of 42-106644 and lasted long enough to attain "war weary" status (the WW markings behind the crew) meaning it was worn out and reverted to training or hack usage and thus wouldn't have been in a position to be shot down. The best I would venture is that the above photo was taken of Lt Boden in front of a plane that wasn't the one you were looking for. You can also see that the assigned pilot was a Lt Corbin. I think what you have above is a "hero" shot for the folks back home.
View attachment 683602
And this is a full right side shot of #644 as you can see it had another name of the "off side".
View attachment 683603

Hi Junkman,

This is a bit of a conundrum. May I ask how it was determined that the left hand side photo you showed is indeed #644? There are some notable differences in our two photos. First, the photo I pulled from the American Air Museum in Britain does NOT show the W W classification as being War Weary and it was identified as aircraft #700. Your left hand side airplane photo clearly shows the W W directly below the 2nd German kill mark which should also be visible in the similar "Problem" photo from the American Air Museum and it is not. In addition, in the American Air Museum photo there is no rear view mirror seen whereas your photo it's clearly visible. Lastly, your right hand side photo reads "Scotty". The pilot's name is Lt. L. L. Corbin. Perhaps "Scotty" was a nickname? One good thing that IS consistent is in both photos they are wearing the invasion stripes which is also consistent with Lt. Boden being shot down in mid-June 1944. Unfortunately in my photo the pilot name is unreadable. I know the same airplane can have different pilots over time but serial numbers for the same airplane don't change. Also, I'm aware there were "VE victory" or "Hero" photos posed shortly after the war for publicity. I have seen bomber crews posing in front of aircraft post war and it you didn't know, you would think it was taken during the war. I also find it odd that the P-51B photos you showed have different nose annotations on either side. I have not found this to be very prevalent (IMHO). Now I'm wondering if my photo was in fact a "hero" victory photo of Lt. Boden after the war, using a W W aircraft showing his aircraft name "Problem" and the victory markings. The "Problem" with that theory is why is the rear view mirror missing in the photo from the American Air Museum in Britain?
 
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Spitlead

Airman 1st Class
126
91
Feb 19, 2019
Lt. Boden was shot down in mid-June 1944 so IF he was flying "Problem" that aircraft was a loss and would not be in later photos. I could argue that a fair percentage of the time their 'personal' aircraft was unavailable due to maintenance and the aircraft that he got shot down in was a different airplane altogether. The a/c serial # being different is a whole other issue.
 

special ed

Senior Master Sergeant
3,404
7,039
May 13, 2018
The two left nose shots are the same aircraft as the name "Problem" is in exactly the same place on both pics. Check where it touches panel seams.
 

CATCH 22

Staff Sergeant
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1,809
Sep 15, 2006
Canada
Lt. Boden was shot down in mid-June 1944 so IF he was flying "Problem" that aircraft was a loss and would not be in later photos. I could argue that a fair percentage of the time their 'personal' aircraft was unavailable due to maintenance and the aircraft that he got shot down in was a different airplane altogether. The a/c serial # being different is a whole other issue.
Guys, I think some information is getting mixed up here.
Lt. Boden was shot down in s/n 42-106700, not in s/n 42-106644! The existing MACR has # 5743.
Problem (Scotty) has either the one or the other s/n but not both!
Problem and Scotty can be 2 different a/c or Problem IS NOT s/n 42-106700.
There is no photo of 42-106700 in the American Air Museum (virtual) - see here.
The photo of Lt. Corbin in front of Problem is here.
It clearly states:
"Lt Luther L Corbin and the crew of his plane the "Problem"*. England. 28 July 1944.
*
P-51B 42-106672 504FS, 339FG, 8AF.
Problem IS NOT Scotty and has a different (third) serial number.
P.S. The a/c with s/n 42-106672 crash-landed on 13. May 1944 but with a different pilot. I guess it was repaired and THEN named Problem (the other photo is from 28.July 1944).
Cheers!
 
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Spitlead

Airman 1st Class
126
91
Feb 19, 2019
Catch-22, I did a search for "P-51B 339th fighter group 106700" and below is my search result. You can see the photo is called out as serial #700 at the American Air Museum in Britain. Museums have 1000s of digitized photos that are in their archive that do not appear on their website. There are simply too many. I would trust the museum, if they had any credibility at all, that they got this right. Their reputation as an institution of historical record requires due diligence. So, I firmly believe this is aircraft 42-106700. There is no confirmation that the pilot kneeling in the left foreground is Lt. Boden. I agree with you that 'Problem' is not 'Scotty'. I also firmly believe Lt. Boden would not be flying a war weary aircraft over the beaches of Normandy the day he was shot down.

1661403861168.png
 

Spitlead

Airman 1st Class
126
91
Feb 19, 2019
The two left nose shots are the same aircraft as the name "Problem" is in exactly the same place on both pics. Check where it touches panel seams.
I too checked the position and script of the name "Problem" in both pics and I agree with you. They are the same. The only exception is that the W W aircraft in the second pic is much dirtier and been flown hard and likely deserves its war weary status. If the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) says Lt. Boden was shot down in #5743, then #700 could in fact have reached W W status later in the war and those two airplanes are in fact, one in the same. If Lt. Boden originally had #700, then it is likely it was reassigned to Lt. Corbin after Bodin became a prisoner of war.
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Note that on the Little Friends website they have Lt Boden listed as "Lt Borden." Typos know no boundaries.

However, would a War Weary airplane be equipped with metal drop tanks? Admittedly if they made it a two-seater they would have to take the tank out from behind the pilot's seat, but "Problem" the War Weary is not a two seater.

Note that they used the metal drop tanks for missions where they did not need the extra range of the larger paper drop tanks, since, unlike the paper ones, the metal ones did not have to defueled and discarded at the end of the day if they were not used. The use of such drop tanks on missions over France not far from the Channel is entirely believable. So it is entirely possible that photo of "Problem" was in mid-1944, long before it became a War Weary.

In any case, both I and Lt Boden's nephew, David H. Boden, who was named after his MIA uncle and later flew North American built aircraft in combat as well, greatly appreciate you expertise and diligence in answering this request.
 
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CATCH 22

Staff Sergeant
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1,809
Sep 15, 2006
Canada
Catch-22, I did a search for "P-51B 339th fighter group 106700" and below is my search result. You can see the photo is called out as serial #700 at the American Air Museum in Britain. Museums have 1000s of digitized photos that are in their archive that do not appear on their website. There are simply too many. I would trust the museum, if they had any credibility at all, that they got this right. Their reputation as an institution of historical record requires due diligence. So, I firmly believe this is aircraft 42-106700. There is no confirmation that the pilot kneeling in the left foreground is Lt. Boden. I agree with you that 'Problem' is not 'Scotty'. I also firmly believe Lt. Boden would not be flying a war weary aircraft over the beaches of Normandy the day he was shot down.

View attachment 683741
Spitlead, did you check the links I posted? Didn't you have the case before, when searching for one particular photo, you find a different one under the general name of the site?
I also quoted the same site as you(and I trust this site as well), but after searching IN THE site, not through Google. As I mentioned the above photo shows this - it is not possible that one and the same photo is under 2 names in the same (reputable) collection. It is not a "non showing photo" in the collection. And this is a photo of Lt. Corbin.
 
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