George Preddy's "Cripes A'Mighty 3rd"

This is P-51D-5-NA #44-13321, which was flown by George Preddy of the 352nd FG, 486th FS in 1944. He began the war by flying P-40 Warhawks with the 9th FS, 49th FG in defense of northern Australia but was seriously injured in a collision and was sent back to the USA to recover. Later, he was assigned to the 487th FS, 352nd FG, of which he became Operations Officer in March 1944. Promoted to Major, he assumed command of the 328th FS. He was recognized as a highly gifted pilot and most of his kills were against enemy fighters. His most impressive feat was shooting down six German fighters on a single mission on August 6, 1944.

Preddy was the top Mustang ace of the war and was credited with 26.83 victories (including 23.83 in the Mustang) when he was killed by friendly fire on Christmas day, 1944. He was also credited with 2 damaged and 5 ground victories. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with Oak Leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 8 Oak Leaf clusters, the Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf clusters, the Purple Heart (posthumously) and the Belgian Croix de Guerre (posthumously).

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