The following people have contributed their time and resources in the creation of this site and we felt they should be recognized for all of their assistance:|
Maj.Jack M. Ilfrey (USAAF), the man himself. A great American, humanitarian and hero. His contributions have been well beyond the call of duty for any one individual.His time and efforts given to many projects have assured that the memories of those who gave their lives in the name of freedom will never be forgotten. An ace with both the 1st. and 20th.FGs, Maj. Ilfrey went on to work at one of the largest banks in the United States, and since retiring has become actively involved with the Confederate Air Force, the 20th. Fighter Group Association, the 8th. Air Force Historical Group, The P-38 Association, the P-51 Association and was elected to the Combat Airman's Hall of Fame in Oct. of 1998.|
Syd Edwards.The webmaster and creator of this website, Syd is a graphic artist, semi-pro musician and amateur aviation historian. Outside of his love for WWII aircraft and the pilots who flew them, he also enjoys traditional target archery, autograph collecting, model building and chatting on Internet Relay Chat. An associate member of the 20th. Fighter Group Association, Edwards is also a columnist for the B-17 Comabt Crewmen & Wingmen's Newsletter and holds the title of "Lord" in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Originally from Nothern Virginia, he currently resides In Pt. Pleasant, WV, USA with his girlfriend, Nancy and his daughter Caitlin.|
Cpl.Russell East (USAAF). Former photographer with the 94th. Fighter Squadron, 1st. Fighter Group. He currently resides in Hannibal,Missouri.|
Yvonne "Moofy" Barnett. A wonderful lady from the UK whose help and inspiration have been emense.Yvonne
lives in South Wirral with her husband Peter and their family.|
|Capt. Art W. Heiden (USAAF).
A squadron mate of Maj. Ilfrey's in the 79th. FS, 20th. FG during the war. Capt. Heiden's P-38, "Lucky Lady" is pictured on the USPS stamp. The winner of 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 4 air medals, he now keeps me on my toes by adding wonderful information and inspiration to this site. After a long career in the aviation industry, Capt. Heiden retired to his home in Memphis, TN.|
Capt. Robert "Bud" Spitler (USAAF) Bud joined the USAAC in June 1942 after graduating from Ventura Junior College in Ventura, California. He was ordered to report to preflight school at Santa Ana, California in September 1942. and received his training at Blythe, Ca., Minter Field, Ca., and Williams Field, AZ.
Upon graduating on May 20, 1943 Bud was assigned to Muroc AAB (now known as Edwards) for combat training. Moving on to Van Nuys Air Base for further training and submarine patrol along the coast of California.
In September 1943 Spitler boarded a "cruise liner" for the voyage to Africa, along with 31 other P-38 pilots, where he was assigned to the 71st Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group. They moved to several fields in Africa before moving to Sardinia, and finally to two locations in Italy ending up at Foggia #8.
During his tour he flew 50 combat missions including, when with the 12th Air Force, dive bombing and strafing missions as well as escort of medium bombers. The 15th Air Force was formed in December 1943 and the 1st was assigned to it. Missions with the 15th Air Force consisted mainly of escort of heavy bombers on long range bombing missions throughout Southern France, Southern Germany, Northern Italy, Austria and the Balkan countries includung The refineries at Ploesti. Spitler had three confirmed aerial victories and received the DFC, Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf clusters, European Theater Medal, Pacific Theater Medal and the Victory Medal. During his tour the 1st Fighter Group also received two Presidential unit citations for outstanding service.He was promoted to the rank of Captain in July 1944 and returned to the US in September 1944 where he was assigned to train replacement pilots in P-38s for combat duty. Spitler was separated from the service in October 1945. He currently resides in Fillmore, California.
Dr. Robert B. Bradshaw. The brother of 20th.FG pilot Capt. James D. Bradshaw, "Sweet Old Bob" (as we like to call him, with only a hint of a smirk,) is another one of those important people whose time and effort on this site has been unbelieveable. Also a former military man, he is an Associate member of the 20th.FG Association. Originally from sunny Florida, he currently resides in Arkansas with his wife, Shirley.|
SSgt. Art Hoven (USAF) When I asked him about himself he replied: " I am a KC-135R crew chief. I used to be a flying crew chief, but
after over 30 trips in and out of the deserts of Saudi and around the world
more times than I remember, I took a job as an inspector in the heavy maint.
dock. Now we tear them apart, fix them and piece them back together. It is
a cool job. Remember when you where a kid and taking apart an old clock or
TV? Well same stuff just bigger. I get a lot of gratification seeing
something the size of an office building fly and know I am the guy keeping it up
there." What Art doesn't mention is the fact he's an outstanding photographer and the pictures he sends back from the UK, where he is currently stationed, are simply amazing. These photographs are generally of the sites where USAAF bases once were and quite frankly they need to be on a site of their own. Until they are, I have put a few together here.|
David G. Knight Is an Englishman who became interested in the 79th.FS during the war. A "wheel" in Friends of the Eighth,and the 20th. Fighter Historical Group, David lives close to, and is very involved with what is going on at King's Cliffe today. He is the Contributing Editor to King's Cliffe Remembered", the Official Newsletter of the 20th. Fighter Group Association and has written many fine articles on the subject.
Capt. Robert "Smokey Vrilakas (USAAF) was a member of the 94th.FS, 1st.FG. He had two confirmed victories in the air, two damaged, and two destroyed on the ground. He currently resides in Oregon.
Capt. John D. Mullins (USAAF) The author of An Escort of P-38s (The First Fighter Group In World War II) and Hello spacebar, This Is Spring Cap (A History of the 94th.Fighter Squadron In World War II), Capt. Mullins was a pilot with the 94th.FS, 1st.FG.
Matt Hubert A writer and historian, Matt is a frequent contributor to news groups and websites relating to World War 2. Originally from California he currently resides in Minnesota. He is in the planning stages of a book on the 77th.FS.
Bill Sharpe Another of the founders of the 20th. Fighter Historical Group and the designer of the King's Cliffe War Memorial, Bill was born and raised in the King's Cliffe area and was a fixture at the base during the war. His father helped to build the base and his mother did laundry for some of the pilots.
Capt. Melvin C. "Chris" Pannell flew a complete tour with the 55th.FS. He is the current president of the 20th. Fighter Group Association and an avid supporter of the websites. His contributions have included video tapes and photographs from his collection.
Paolo Zanzi is an avid modeler from Italy who has contributed a number of photographs for the 20th. Fighter Group Scrapbook. He is currently at work on a model of "Betsy VI", the P-38 of Lt. Russell Bebout.
Duncan Comrie is a fellow 20th. Fighter Group enthusiast and autograph collector. He has been a great help in researching certain individuals' biographies and has added many small tid bits of information that have been added to the sites. He resides in Tasmania.
Bonnie Wemyss Lechman is the daughter of George Wemyss and has been a great supporter of the sites. She went to much expense having a great number of photographs from her father's collection copied for inclusion on the sites..
Mark Van Sickle has been a supporter of the sites since the very early days. The nephew of Frank and Dick VanSickle he has contributed photographs and words of encouragement for quite some time now.