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Posted: 5/27/2013 2:56:38 PM EDT
Sorry for the quality.  The last update dicked up my camera and I haven't sorted it out yet.





Link Posted: 5/27/2013 2:59:25 PM EDT
[#1]
Wow, that's crazy.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 2:59:36 PM EDT
[#2]
hahahaha! That's so crazy it's gotta be true. Thanks OP!
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:00:20 PM EDT
[#3]
Fucking team killers
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:02:36 PM EDT
[#4]
Wow. Nowhere is the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" more true itself, than in wartime.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:07:27 PM EDT
[#5]
Sounds like he saved them from being POW's.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:09:12 PM EDT
[#6]
Wow. I bet he thought long and hard on that one.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:12:30 PM EDT
[#7]
great find and great story
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:14:33 PM EDT
[#8]
Bigger picture



A YANK FOR GOOD MEASURE
Lt. Curdes was circling low over one of his P-51 pilots who was bobbing in his dinghy just off Jap field Batan Island. Another pilot whose plane had the lowest gas in his tanks headed for home. A fourth plane was circling at 20,000 feet sending out a distress signal. It had been a fairly good day, as fighter Mission days over Formosa go. Curdes' flight had knocked down two planes over the target, Curdes getting his first Nip since he came to the Pacific from the MTO last December. They had blasted three more on the ground at Batan before flak caught one of his flight. Curdes looked down to the tossing dinghy and figured the chances of a Catalina coming in for a rescue before dark. It was getting along towards mid- afternoon, and the nights come fairly early off northern Luzon in the middle of February. Suddenly, Curdes noticed a black speck coming from the southwest toward a Jap landing strip at Batan. Then the speck became a dead ringer for a C-47. And, as the wheels came down on the transport, Curdes saw the American markings. "Those damned Japs have patched up one of our buggies and didn't even have the grace to take the markings off" Curdes figured as he wheeled about to give the visitor a closer look. Then he read a familiar number on the tail. It was the number of one of the "Jungle Skippers." At this point, the Jap ack-ack, opened up - at Curdes’ P-51 but not at the transport. A quick run of thinking convinced Curdes there was only one thing to do since the plane would be Jap property as soon as it landed, if it was not already. The P-51 banked steeply, head on into the flak, and opened up with its fifties on the C-47’s right engine. As the transport headed out to sea, with one engine gone, Curdes made a 180 degree turn and cut loose on the other engine. The C-47 settled into the water within yards of the downed fighter pilot's dinghy. Curdes dived in to do a little strafing after all occupants of the transport climbed aboard life rafts, but he observed in time that the survivors were white. So he went back to his low level circling. His water bound charges had grown from one to thirteen. When darkness fell and still no help had arrived, Curdes figured all would be safe until dawn and returned to his base.
The next morning before daylight, he and his wingman took off. And they were circling over the survivors when a rescue Catalina arrived to pick them up. Back at base, Curdes learned that the C-47 had been American manned with 12 occupants including two Army nurses. The pilot had become lost during a flight from Art island in the southern Philippines and had been forced to head for the nearest visible strip because of a fuel shortage. Curdes gave a start and a shout when he glanced at the names of the survivors. One of the nurses was the "date" he had been with the night before at Lingayen.
"Jeepers," Lie exclaimed, "seven 109's and one Macci in North Africa, one Jap, and one Yank in the Pacific -- and to top it, I have to go out and shoot down the girl friend."
A few weeks' later, Captain Louis E. Curdes of the 4th Fighter Squadron. Third Air Commando Group was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down a C-47.
Captain Louis E. Curdes was assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group. He was reassigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Air Commando Group (1945) where he flew the P-51), "BAD ANGEL". A Jap flag and U.S. flag were added to the seven German and one Italian markings on the fuselage of his Mustang. Curdes made wheels up forced landing on a beach South of Naples, Italy in August 1943 when lie ran low on fuel trying to return to N. Africa. He was interned as a Prisoner of War until October 1943. He escaped twice and evaded capture for about eight months before returning through enemy lines on May 27, 1944. He received the DFC for shooting down a C-47, becoming the only flyer ever to be decorated for shooting down another American plane in combat.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:15:21 PM EDT
[#9]



Quoted:


Sounds like he saved them from being POW's.


He saved them from worse than that.



 
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:15:28 PM EDT
[#10]
That is a seriously cool story.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:16:45 PM EDT
[#11]
What a great story!

Man, it occurs to me that there are a hundred or even thousands more stories out there we will never hear. The old timers are dying off.

God bless them all this Memorial Day.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:19:45 PM EDT
[#12]



Quoted:


Wow. Nowhere is the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" more true itself, than in wartime.


Left out from the caption board next to the exhibit is that one of the two nurses that were rescued after the C-47 went down would later become his wife.

 






Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:20:53 PM EDT
[#13]
What an interesting story.  Thanks for sharing.  
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:22:36 PM EDT
[#14]
That's crazy. Thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:23:07 PM EDT
[#15]
Saw that a few months ago. Crazy story.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:23:20 PM EDT
[#16]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Wow. Nowhere is the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" more true itself, than in wartime.

Left out from the caption board next to the exhibit is that one of the two nurses that were rescued after the C-47 went down would later become his wife.    




Wow.  What a story to tell about how you met!  "Oh, he shot down a plane I was in."
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:25:56 PM EDT
[#17]
My world is upside down, I thought buckwheat was black.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:27:15 PM EDT
[#18]
Wow! Thanks
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:31:03 PM EDT
[#19]
Quoted:
Quoted:

Quoted:
Wow. Nowhere is the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" more true itself, than in wartime.

Left out from the caption board next to the exhibit is that one of the two nurses that were rescued after the C-47 went down would later become his wife.    




Wow.  What a story to tell about how you met!  "Oh, he shot down a plane I was in."



LOL


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:39:34 PM EDT
[#20]
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:42:13 PM EDT
[#21]
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 3:46:37 PM EDT
[#22]
Amazing story.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:19:43 PM EDT
[#23]
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:24:43 PM EDT
[#24]
Crazy
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:27:01 PM EDT
[#25]
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:31:55 PM EDT
[#26]
Tell that story in a bar and people would be calling you a colorful liar. Impressive resume.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:34:23 PM EDT
[#27]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Wow. Nowhere is the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" more true itself, than in wartime.

Left out from the caption board next to the exhibit is that one of the two nurses that were rescued after the C-47 went down would later become his wife.    



That was what I was going to post.  Great ending to a good story!
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:37:02 PM EDT
[#28]
Wow, that is crazy.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:37:51 PM EDT
[#29]
Fantastic find!
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:41:28 PM EDT
[#30]
great story gave me







my grandpa was a pilot in WW2, I wish he would of talked about it but he never even mentioned he was in the war to me or anyone really, only things we know are from a few papers and my grandmother

different breed back then
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 5:45:10 PM EDT
[#31]
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:02:11 PM EDT
[#32]
Quoted:
Fucking team killers


lol. I hear ya bro

very cool story.

Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:07:38 PM EDT
[#33]
Holy shit!
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:15:21 PM EDT
[#34]
Quoted:
Saw that a few months ago. Crazy story.


me too last year.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:16:32 PM EDT
[#35]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Wow. Nowhere is the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" more true itself, than in wartime.

Left out from the caption board next to the exhibit is that one of the two nurses that were rescued after the C-47 went down would later become his wife.    





Now that's cool!
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:17:35 PM EDT
[#36]
Quoted:
My world is upside down, I thought buckwheat was black.


No  Buckwheat is black...

This is Co. Buck Wheat...
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:22:11 PM EDT
[#37]
Cool Story Bro!

Nice find OP!

Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:24:14 PM EDT
[#38]
Quoted:
Sounds like he saved them from being POW's.


More like saved them from the Batan Death march
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:25:52 PM EDT
[#39]
Loved seeing the kill marker for the Italian fighter he downed.

Cool.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:28:39 PM EDT
[#40]
That's an awfully small cockpit to contain such huge brass balls
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:32:20 PM EDT
[#41]
I first read of this story 20-25 years ago.

No idea where, what book or magazine.  For some reason it has made the rounds on several website I visit over the last month or so.

No matter, what a great story.  

I am doing my best to get my 12 y.o. daughter interested in WWII history. I failed with her 26 y.o. and 22 y.o. brothers and her 10 y.o. sister is more about being social.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:34:38 PM EDT
[#42]
All that and his crew chief was Buck Wheat?  Crazy story, and a great legacy.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 6:36:46 PM EDT
[#43]
Read that story many years ago.



Edit;



FWIW, that's what you really call "Friendly fire".

Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:05:49 PM EDT
[#44]
 Now that's good shooting
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:10:46 PM EDT
[#45]
I have pictures of the same plane and plaque. It's a great story.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:11:00 PM EDT
[#46]
Quoted:
Sounds like he saved them from being POW's.


thats a polite way of saying "saved from being raped and executed"


btw he married one of the nurses.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:11:55 PM EDT
[#47]
So, does he qualify as a double ace then?  

Admittedly, it was the lesser of two evils.  Who would want to be a "guest" of the Emperor?
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:13:55 PM EDT
[#48]
I've heard his story before but I have a question about the C47.  

Why did Curdes need to shoot down the C47, instead of letting it land?  


Was the island getting bombarded with ordnance?
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:15:22 PM EDT
[#49]
Quoted:
I've heard his story before but I have a question about the C47.  

Why did Curdes need to shoot down the C47, instead of letting it land?  


Was the island getting bombarded with ordnance?


Enemy held airstrip.
Link Posted: 5/27/2013 7:15:47 PM EDT
[#50]
Quoted:
I've heard his story before but I have a question about the C47.  

Why did Curdes need to shoot down the C47, instead of letting it land?  


Was the island getting bombarded with ordnance?


Japanese controlled island.
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