From the P-47 Pilots Association Web Site:


Raymond K. Gallagher

RAYMOND K. GALLAGHER, (SKEETS) born November 7, 1916; B.S. Degree - University of Illinois 1938; Flying School Class of 40-B. Started with P-47's in October, 1942 as C.O. of the 342nd Ftr Squad, 348th Ftr Gp. Our Squad was based at the old Bedford Airdrome (Now Hanscom AFB) near Boston. The rest of the group was based at Providence,R.I. We were the second P-47 Group to deploy to combat (the 356th was first to England).

We thought England was to be our destination, so based on some good intelligence, we had our supply office purchase 1,000 pairs of Silk Stockings in New York to use as "barter" material. Our group departed New York in April, 1943 in a large convoy which included our entire Fighter group and four destroyers and one Cruiser escort, and headed for England.

Three days out to sea the Captain was authorized to open his secret orders-they read- destination Brisbane!!! Thirty-one days later we arrived in Australia with the first P-47's in the Pacific. Needless to say our silk stockings didn't sell too well with the New Guinea natives.

Since we were the first allied radial engine fighters to enter the Southwest Pacific war, we decided to paint our tail sections all white. This proved to be a wise move as heretofore all radials were fair game for allied fighters.

When I left the Squadron to be Deputy Group C.O., we had 102 victories with only two losses. We had no engine failures during our first 50,000 hours of flying other than combat damage. Not bad for the old Jug and the great R-2800.

Returned to the ZI in October, 1944 and stayed with the Jug-Vice Commander at Seymour-Johnson where we had 200 Jugs in a Gunnery Training Program. Then deployed to gunnery school at Suffolk Co., N.Y. Closed Seymour then moved to Selfridge.

Flew some air shows with the 51st Group and then to a three year tour with the Guard at Nashville, Tenn. in 1947, with the 105th Ftr, probably the best flying I ever had. We had 28 Jugs always in commission. I formed and led an ACROBATIC team for three years; started with four Jugs, then a twelve ship act with a twelve ship formation loop (three diamonds). My original four ships included Dick White, left wing; Jay Ball, right wing; and Pee Wee Carter (Ret B.G.), slot. They are all still in Nashville. I believe we were the first to do the bomb burst - now famous with the T-Birds.

After the Korean War, where I was C.O. of the 8th Ftr Wing (F-80's) and had been out of prop types for a few years, I got talked into putting on a Jug acro act in Havana, Cuba for the Guard there. Damned near killed myself so quit Jugs for good after about 1700Jug hours total. Quite a bird. Flew jets for the next twenty years and retired at the end of 1969. Now a banker.