aurora wrote:Thank you Dave- for details of Col/Zemke and his capture after being shot down in a P51!!! ."
Just one correction though, he wasn't shot down but got caught up in a tremendous storm that ripped the wing off his aircraft. It was probably what we now know as a microburst wind shear. He became the commander of 9,000 POWs as the result and was instrumental in a peaceful transition during the chaos of the end of the war between the Germans, the Allied prisioners, and the Russians.
He was indeed flying P-51s. He had been asked to take over and turn around a hard luck outfit, IIRC, the 479th FG, which was transitioning from P-38s to P-51s. He wanted a chance to fly the P-51 as well. As I recall he later wrote that the P-51 was in his experience a better fighter than his beloved Thunderbolts.