Capt. William T. Wishner
Captain William T. Wishner's first victory came while flying in a P-47 as George Preddy's wingman on 1/29/44. In April, 1944 the 352nd FG switched from the P-47 to the P-51 and on April 20th, 1944, he flamed his second at the Claremont-Ferrzand Aerodrome, an FW190. A month later while on a B-24 escort mission, Wishner engaged another FW 190 and the battle took over fifteen minutes. It started out at high altitude and ended down on the deck when the FW 190 pilot tried to lose Wishner by looping two times at ground level. Wishner got a burst in on the last loop and the FW 190 dove into the ground.
On 11/21/44, near Merseburg, Germany, while on a bomber escort, over 50 enemy aircraft attacked. Wishner shot down five FW 190's and two probables. For this Wishner received the Distinguished Service Cross. On New Years Day, 1/1/45, the Luftwaffe wanted to surprise the allies by hitting the airfields in England but Wishner's group had just taken off when they saw the German fighters coming at their field. This is known as the battle of Y-29. Wishner scored big with four victories but had to return to base. For the first time his aircraft had been hit by enemy fire. His oil tank and left aileron were shot up early in the fight. Capt. Wishner scored his final two victories of WWII with a damaged P-51.
Wishner served in the Korean war where he scored another six kills and was the first ace in the 51st FIW. He received a second Oak Leaf Cluster for his Distinguished Service Cross for an outstanding act of heroism in coming to the aid of a downed pilot. He also served in a non-combat role in Vietnam.
He retired from the Air Force and passed away on September 19, 1989 after a violent reaction to a wasp sting.
Click on the image below for a larger photo of Capt. Wishner's P-51 - Moonbeam McSwine
For a brief history of the 352nd Fighter Group click here
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