North American P-51D Mustang 44-13586/C5-T 'Hurry Home Honey', Capt. Richard A 'Pete' Peterson, 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Leiston, Suffolk July 1944
The red and yellow checked noses of the USAAF 357th Fighter Group became a familiar sight in the skies above enemy occupied Europe in the final months of WWII and served both to reassure US Bomber crews that their 'Little Friends' were in attendance and to warn attacking Luftwaffe fighters that they were facing an elite fighting unit. The 357th were the first Eighth Air Force Fighter Group to receive the new North American P-51 Mustang towards the end of 1943 and immediately began their conversion training at Raydon airfield in East Anglia. Transferring to nearby Leiston, the unit became operational in February 1944 and were famously christened 'The Yoxford Boys' by British traitor and German propagandist Lord Haw-Haw, who greeted the arrival of these newly trained pilots with a forewarning of death and devastation at the hands of the Luftwaffe. How wrong he was. The Mustangs of the Yoxford Boys took a withering toll of Axis aircraft in the coming months, becoming the most successful P-51 air-to-air combat Unit in the Eighth Air Force by the end of WWII.