P-61

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by Violator, May 3, 2010.

  1. Violator

    Violator Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Seattle
    #1 Violator, May 3, 2010
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
    Hi everyone -- I had the great pleasure yesterday of spending some time with Al Jones, a pilot with the 414th NFS. He scored one kill while flying a Beaufighter out of Italy, then scored two more flying P-61s while attached to the 422nd. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Mr. Jones’ previous combat experience included 40 missions piloting a Wellington while assigned to the RCAF (and before that he was an instructor pilot on Harvards!). After the war he joined Boeing as a test pilot and flew the B-47, B-52, 707, 727, 737 and 747. He’s one of the nicest men I’ve ever met and was kind enough to sign the original drawing below, as well as prints for a couple of my friends.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8,857
    Likes Received:
    376
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Workin' for the man....
    Location:
    South East Queensland
    Awesome! :cool:
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,911
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    Very cool!
     
  4. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    51,215
    Likes Received:
    849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Adelaide Sth. Aust.
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    T. Jones shot down a ground attack Fw 190F on the night of Oct. 21, 1944 and the very last kill for the the 422nd nfs on April 13, 1945 a Ju 52 most likely transferring supplies to the belegured front lines.

    glad he is still with us ........

    E ~ and by the way the upper turret was not fitted to 9th AF Widows, just as a friendly notice
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,790
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Very cool! Nice drawing too.
     
  7. Violator

    Violator Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks everyone!

    Erich, looks like we're talking about different pilots. Your reference is to 422nd NFS pilot Ted Jones. I was talking about Al Jones, 414th NFS (12th AF). Al told me his P-61 had the top turret, although it was locked in the forward position and he never carried a gunner. He said he could fire just the .50s, just the cannons, or all eight guns at once. He was part of the six-plane detachment sent to fly with the 422nd after the Battle of the Bulge started.

    "Midnight Belle" belonged to the 6th NFS in the Pacific, and as far as I know those 61s all had the top turret.

    Cheers!
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    you're correct about Mr. Jones, my mistaae. Al is credited with 3 kills in the 414th and did you know there time with the 42nnd the scores of the 414th nfs were absorbed in the score overall with the 422nd nfs according to their combat history ? bizarre and then this was rectified later on. all PTO Widows had top turret it was to be ordered that all 9th AF Widows have their top turrets removed as they were extra weight aerodynamics were pulled back on when chasing LW nf's and ground attack duties using the extra weight was prohibitive when bombs, naphalm, and rockets were scheduled to be used.
     
  9. Johnny Signor

    Johnny Signor Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    There was also a problem with the top turrret if it was rotated during flight it would cuase buffeting that was suppossedly quite severe,so another reason to either keep it locked forward or removed altogether.
     
  10. kecurroj

    kecurroj New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I also was at the event at the Museum of Flight with Al Jones. As a board member of the Northwest Friends of the American Fighter Aces, who are based at the museum, we had a private signing session with Al, P-38 ace Art Jeffrey and P-51 ace Bud Anderson who were all at the symposium. We also went out to dinner with the pilots the night before.

    Al is a great guy and he was wearing his original flight jacket from WWII and it still fits him. The squadron patch is on the front and a painted P-61 on the back.

    As for the 4x50 cal. turret on the top of the P-61, some pilots would have them removed as the muzzle flash would blind them. I asked Al about this and he said he had no problem and that his plane still had the turret installed. Quite an awesome amount of fire power with all guns blazing and he said it would take apart targets quickly.
     
  11. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Mechanic / Avionics
    Location:
    Plano Texas
    Hi all, just back from Russia and couldn't pass this one up. I found a photo of the "Midnight Bell" and it does show a top turret. It's great you got to talk to those pilots. I wish I had the opportunity. Here we get visits to our airshow from a couple of the remaining Tuskegee airmen.
     
Loading...

Share This Page