Jesup's "Peanuts"

"Peanuts" was flown by Lt. Nelson Ritch Jesup of the 487th FS, 352 FG. Lt. Jesup was credited with three aerial victories, including one on January 1, 1945, during Operation Bodenplatte, a massive surprise attack by the Luftwaffe against allied airfields in Europe. Being the last to take-off, he pushed his engine to maximum power and kept on the runway until the very end, to gain as much speed as possible. He then went straight up, to the astonishment of the ground crews.

The aircraft was later damaged in an accident when the engine failed on take-off on 24 February 1945 at Chièvres, with Lt. Alex F. Sears at the controls. The aircraft was rapidly repaired but was lost on 25 March when Lt. Wesley N. Roebuck was killed trying to bail out at Ulzen, Germany.

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