View Full Version : gabby gabeski...what plane

03-04-2005, 11:55 PM
my wife snagged a autographed pic of this pilot off ebay, but dont know what plane he flew in or in what theater...european, or mto. he had at least 28 vics; shot down 8 fw-190, 8 me-110's, 1 me-210, and 10 me-109's.

03-04-2005, 11:55 PM
my wife snagged a autographed pic of this pilot off ebay, but dont know what plane he flew in or in what theater...european, or mto. he had at least 28 vics; shot down 8 fw-190, 8 me-110's, 1 me-210, and 10 me-109's.

03-05-2005, 12:07 AM
Just saw a history channel show on the Pacific war and Gabby was flying over Pearl Harbour during the Japanese attack, he later went on to be the USAAF's highest scoring ace in the European conflict, so I guess from a US perspective he just about saw it all, apart from not flying with the Eagle squadrons in the BoB.

03-05-2005, 12:10 AM
well there is no gabby gabeski. I hope your wife bought Mr. Gabby Gabreski's picture. LOL...just ribbing. he flew the P40, Spit, P47 and a F86 in the Korean thing. check this out

03-05-2005, 12:43 AM

Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski


28 Air, 2.5 Ground
153 Sorties
6.5 Air in ? Sorties

Distingushed Service Cross
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Air Medal
French Legion d'Honeur
French Croix de Guerre
Polish Croix des Vaillants

Assigned Combat Aircraft:
P-47C-2-RE, HV*A
P-47D-1-RE, HV*A, SN 42-7871
P-47D-11-RE, HV*A, SN 42-75510
P-47D-22-RE, HV*A, SN 42-25864
P-47D-25-RE, HV*A, SN 42-26418
F-86E-10-NA, SN 51-2740, "GABBY"


America€s greatest living ace, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski, is a member of "The Inner Seven," an elite group of pilots who achieved the status of "ace" in both World War II and Korea. Born in Pennsylvania in 1919, he attended Notre Dame University where he learned to fly before joining the Army Air Corps. After flight school at Maxwell Field, Alabama, he was stationed at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, where he witnessed the Japanese attack on his base. Shortly thereafter, he was sent to England as a liaison officer with a Polish squadron of the Royal Air Force and was able to fly several combat missions in the Spitfire. When American units began to organize for European operations, Gabreski transitioned to the P-47 Thunderbolt with the 56th Fighter Group--the Wolfpack--which would become the highest scoring American fighter group in Europe. His determination and aggressiveness became well known, and he became famous for withholding fire until he was sure of scoring a hit. Under his command, the 61st Fighter Squadron, known as the "Avengers," became the first American unit to achieve 100 victories. On what was supposed to be his last mission before returning home, Gabreski had to crash-land behind enemy lines in July 1944. He was captured after 5 days of evasion and interned in Stalag Luft I until the end of the war. By the time his winning streak came to an end, his personal tally stood at 31--a record unsurpassed by any American pilot in Europe. Following World War II, Gabreski served as a test pilot before being mustered out of the service. He then worked for Douglas Aircraft while waiting for a regular commission. Back in the service and assigned to Korea in the F-86 Sabre, he downed his first MiG-15 in July 1951 and then destroyed 5 1/2 more before ending his tour as commander of the 51st Fighter Wing. Prior to his retirement in 1967, Colonel Gabreski served in various command and staff positions. Later, he was elected to the Aviation Hall of Fame and became President of the Long Island Railroad.*


Lithograph Setting: During World War II, "Gabby" Gabreski and two other 56th Fighter Group aces were respectfully dubbed "The Terrible Three" by their Luftwaffe opponents. Typical of the flying that earned him this reputation was a mission on 22 May 1944. Leading a bomber escort mission, Gabreski and his squadron dispersed a formation of German Fighters and then sighted another group of 20 Focke-Wulf 190s preparing to land at a nearby airfield. The "Avengers" dove to the attack, but they encountered heavy flak over the field. However, after one of the German pilots signaled his airfield with a green flare, the flak ceased and the air battle began. During the ensuing engagement, Major Gabreski claimed three confirmed kills and a probable while his squadron mates shot down another eight enemy aircraft.

03-05-2005, 03:16 AM
He was a wonderful guy. My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting him during the USAF Air Command and Staff College symposium, The Gathering of Eagles in 1988.

WWII was definitely the defining moment in his life, and the details of his crash and subsequent capture while straffing a target was fascinating to listen too.

03-05-2005, 03:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Artist Jerry Crandall Painting</span>


Just to be square Wolfie, that foreground P47 in the litho is David Schilling:

P-47D 42-26641
CO. 56FG 8th AF

Flown by Col. David Schilling

One of seven P-47's assigned to Schilling. He flew this aircraft the day he downed 5 enemy a/c 23 Dec. 1944 raising his final score to 22.5. "Zemke's Wolfpack" P-47's commonly painted the popular cartoon characters of Al Capp's "Dogpatch".


At any rate, here's a website you guys might enjoy:

56th and the Wolfpack (http://www.web-birds.com/8th/56/56th.htm)

03-05-2005, 05:10 AM
too bad that the gab is now a silent key and is flyin p-47's in heaven. r.i.p. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

03-05-2005, 06:13 AM
GR142_Astro... Correction made.
11-7 shift is a bit much sometimes.

03-05-2005, 08:46 AM
I remember watching an episode of a documentary series back in the 80:ies about the history of flight (excellent series produced by the French TV5). This episode was about WW2 and they interviewed the P47-ace Gabresky, who just couldn't express his LOVE for his P47. He describes it as a workhorse. He said that he came back after his missions with big bullit holes in his CYLINDERS, but still made it home.

TgD Thunderbolt56
03-05-2005, 09:47 AM
I've got quite a bit of information on Gabreski as well (including a number of pieces of signed aviation art with his signature as well as Zemke's and a few others). In his autobiography he talks of his love of his "Jug" and of his feeling of helplessness at Pearl (they were assigned P-36's...lol). He goes into the last days of the war and how he spent them in a POW camp with his friend and CO Hub Zemke.

Definitely a fascinating life and great story.

As a side note, My Grandmother and Grandfather were friends with Harrison Thyng (also one of "the inner seven") while living in Japan in the late 50's and my Mother dated their son. By proxy, they had some interesting stories and when my G'ma died last year we went through all her stuff (in a respectful way) and found many pictures of prominent figures during the war. I regret not asking and talking with her more than I did.


03-05-2005, 09:55 AM
We need more skins of those 56th FG P-47s....especially the late war bubbletops with the European cammo. I think I need to retake up my Thunderbolt flying.