Urban L. Drew

Picture of Urban Drew URBAN L. DREW, born March 21, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan. He received his education at Wayne University (Detroit) and the University of Michigan, graduating with a degree in Political Science.

He graduated from the Southeast Training Command at Marianna Florida in the class of 43-I. After receiving his RTU training in Bartow, Florida, in P-51's, he was retained as in instructor in Mustangs until he was shipped to the E.T.0. and assigned to the 375th Fighter Squadron, 36lst Fighter Group in June 1944.

He flew 319 hours of combat in 76 missions with the "Yellowjackets" and received the Distinguished Flying Cross plus cluster and the Air Medal plus thirteen clusters, and the ETO Battle Ribbon with three battle stars. He was credited with the following victories. 6 - (Air) (3-Me-109's, 1-He.111, 2.Me-262's); 1 - (Air) (Me-109, damaged); 1 - (Ground) (Ju-52, destroyed); 1 - (Water) shared destroyed, only German BV-238 VI six engine flying Boat; 11 - Locomotives, destroyed; 7 - Locomotives, damaged; 4 - Barges, destroyed, water.

Drew was the first and only Allied pilot to shoot down two (2) German jet aircraft (ME-262's) in one aerial combat, on October 7, 1944, the first operational losses of the Kommando Novotny.

Drew was transferred after his stint in the ETO to the 413th Fighter Squadron, 414th' Fighter Group- flying P-47N-5's and was based on Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands. He was awarded one more Air Medal. and the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with two (2) battle stars.

He returned to the USA, and was discharged, and accepted a commission in the Michigan Air National Guard. He became Deputy Group Commander and subsequently, was appointed the first Air Adjutant General of the State of Michigan.

Leaving the services in 1950. he started up several charter companies and today is President of Caprivi Airways, a scheduled airline in the Territory of South West Africa.

He is married to the former Lynette Cronje, and they make their home in Pretoria. South Africa. His son. David. just graduated from Thunderbird University in Arizona.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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