Pegasus. May 6, 2010

Robert Eringer and I both lost our only Uncles (both 21 years old) in WWII, both bomber pilots. My Uncle Bill died Feb.3, 1944, his Uncle Edward died February 29, 1944.

Roberts Uncle, Edward Stanley, was the seasoned pilot of this B-24 named, "Pegasus." He is seen here with members of his crew and ground personnel some time in around November 1944. They were part of 159 squadron RAF, somewhere in India. At least seventeen of these men along with men from 460 squadron, pictured here flew on a low level mission over Rangoon, on the night of February 29, 1944. They were jumped by two "Oscars" who were able to see the bombers from the Japanese Search lights.

In Edward Stanley's Plane, six of the ten crewmen bailed out of the plane and survived, but the other four went down with the ship, and still have not been recovered.

I imagine the ground personnel, who kept Pegasus flying and operational, were no doubt stunned and grief stricken when she didn't return from her flight that night. Eventually, these personnel were reassigned to other bombers, and so it went, until the end of the war.

War is Hell.

Now, of those in this picture who did survive the war, well, most of them are probably dead by now, but their relatives are heavily in to keeping the story alive.

Google: 460 Squadron, 159 Squadron.

So this was the Nose Art of his plane: appearing white, on what was undoubtedly an olive drab paint scheme. When Robert received his A-2 jacket from Eastman Leather, I went to work. Studying the Pegasus nose art I made the decision to paint the Flying A Horse the color red, mostly because all of the reference imagery I could find on the Internet showed it as red. The only images of white winged horses were the unicorn type Pegasus.

There were some details to this nose art which I couldn't make out, so I blew the photo up for greater clarity.

Pilot: Flt. Lt. Edward Stanley (pictured standing directly beneath the Nose Art)
Photo credit; Robert Eringer