James F. Farrell

Picture of James Farrell JAMES F. FARRELL, born June 7, 1923, in Caledonia, New York, graduated in the Aviation Cadet Class of 43-J on November 3, 1943 at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama.

He trained in P-47's at Perry, Florida and was a P-47 and P-40 flight instructor in the 441st Fighter Squadron at Perry until October, 1944. He was transferred to the 91st Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, 14th Air Force in Chengtu, China in December, 1944.

In the Spring of 1945, the gas-guzzling Jug was in danger of being eliminated from the ever gasoline-short 14th Air Force in favor of the P-51. Farrell was one of eight pilots sent on detached service with their P47's to a P-51 outfit in Hsian, China, (the end of the longest supply line in WW II) to prove the P47.

Flying Jugs at 23"Hg and 1600 rpm, this small group carried out a series of 3:00 a.m. takeoffs for pre-dawn, 5-hour interdiction strikes against rail and river traffic, rail yards, and bridge missions with the Burma Bridge Busters throughout the Yellow River area.

They proved the Jug could operate at 70 gallons per hour - thereby keeping the P47 in China.

Following the Great Conflagration, he graduated from RPI in 1951, joined United Technologies Research Center as a Research Engineer and is, in 1980, Manager Personnel Operations. Although the memories or flying are strong and sweet, his hobby for the past 25 years has been bagpiping with the St. Patrick's Pipe Band throughout the Northeast.

He married Gertrude Skivington of Scottaville, New York in 1949. They have five children: Kathy, Maureen, Patrick, Terrance, and Mary Beth. As of 1980, they have two grandchildren: Christopher and Emily Harvey.

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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