Happy Memorial Day From Tom Harmon

Submitted by Brian on May 28th, 2012 at 1:37 PM

A couple years back a Purdue fan ran across a number of Tom Harmon photos featuring him and his plane—the one that would later go down over the Amazon. Today's a good day to mention them again:

LittleButchFloridaTarmacPicturebeforeAtkinsonFieldandcrash[1]

Happy Memorial Day. See you tomorrow.

Comments

M Fanfare

May 28th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

IIRC, he named his subsequent P-38 fighter "Little Butch II" and had identical nose art. That one went down in flames over China. The story of his survival in China is pretty remarkable.

MGoShoe

May 28th, 2012 at 3:01 PM ^

...Harmon in China with other Flying Tigers.

The cover of Harmon's autobiography, Pilots Also Pray

 
Here's the 2008 Michigan Today story about when he was shot down over China. If you search for stories about Harmon, you'll find AAF message board trolls who make the claim that Harmon was a cocky pilot who got his flight into trouble unnecessarily and gave up info in interviews after his return to the US about the Chinese villagers who assisted his escape. His Silver Star argues otherwise.
 
Here's a United Press story written right after his shootdown was reported.

bubblelevel

May 29th, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^

Cant' find the pic right now but there was a B-24 in the Phillipines in 1945 that had a gigantic mural of Michigan Stadium and of course, a well built lady.  Took up most of the nose of the plane and if you are familiar with the aircraft it was a very big canvas.

Edit - found a pic of a model of it... close enough.

 

Griff88

May 29th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

The B-24 that you are referring to was a Liberator, from the 64th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group, 5th Air Force. It was based at Clark Field, The Philippines. The bomber was called... "Michigan" 

This is an interview with a B-24 pilot. From the book, "B-24 Liberator Units of the Pacific War" 

 "The reference to Michigan, is to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and never, never to Michigan State." As a Pacific B-24 pilot remembered over 50 years later, "The Michigan colors are maize (corn yellow) and a dark blue, almost Navy. They have the ugliest helmets in all of college football. Watch the sports sections for a few Sundays now that football is coming up. You are sure to see some color pics of those Godawful helmets real soon. Most of the nation's sportswriters are very enamored of this team. Some things never change."

I guess he has never read the Freep.