Key.Aero Network
Register Free

Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: The passing of 352nd FG ace Col Don Bryan!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Spartanburg, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    1,019

    The passing of 352nd FG ace Col Don Bryan!

    Tough news this month for the 352nd family & friends...with the May 16th passing of its top living ace. Col Don Bryan passed away......much sadness for all who knew and espically those who served with him at Bodney during the war. One tough outstanding fighter pilot...condolences to his family & friends.

    Long live the memory of the "BlueNosers"....... they indeed took the fight to the Luftwaffe every day ! So many veterans of this group always had warm thoughts on their life in the UK . Made many friends in the local villages. Wish I had the money to restore that control tower at Bondey in their memory. Rest in peace Col Bryan....you served you nation in an outstanding manner in wartime & peace !

    BlueNoser352!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	m-8789.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	25.8 KB 
ID:	205659   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AFAA2011DonBryan.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	79.6 KB 
ID:	205660  
    "Second To None"
    352nd Fighter Group
    The BlueNosers !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Spartanburg, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Don Bryan on The History Channel

    BlueNosers in action......


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCGXPnYqks0


    "SECOND TO NONE " !!!!!
    "Second To None"
    352nd Fighter Group
    The BlueNosers !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Spartanburg, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Lt Col Dan Bryan

    Lt. Col. Donald Bryan - Pilot / Ace
    328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group
    A Distinguished Veteran

    Donald Bryan received a private pilots license in college from the Civilian Pilots Training program. His flight training was 39 hours in a 65 hp Aranca. He joined the Army Air Corp on January 6, 1943, and began his Air Corp training in PT-17s at King City, California. He took his basic training at Moffet Field, California, and advance training at Luke Field, Arizona. He was commissioned six months and twenty days after entering the service. His first station was Morris Field, South Carolina, in the 79th Fighter Squadron of the 20th Fighter Group. He soloed in the P-40 (specifications) two days before he could legally buy a drink. He stayed with the unit until after it moved to Pinellas Army Air Field, Florida, as an instructor in P-40s and P-39s, until he was transferred to the 328th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group. He was assigned as a flight leader flying P-47s (specifications). The 352nd FG was transferred to Bodney, England, in June, 1943. He flew with the group on its first combat mission in September, 1943, in his P-47D-2 “Little One”, named after his girlfriend Frances Norman. In April, 1944, he transitioned in P-51s (specifications). He flew his first mission in a P-51 after one hour of training. He completed his first combat tour in May, 1944, and returned to the United States on R&R. He returned to the 328th FS in August, 1944, after marrying the original “Little One”. He became an ace in October, 1944, after destroying two ME-109s in “Little One III”. He ended the war as a double ace, with 13.34 air-to-air victories, which comprised of nine ME-109s, five of which he shot down in one day, two FW-190s, an ME-110, and one AR-234 jet bomber. “I think that I’m the luckiest leader in the Group. I flew 140 combat missions, and I never lost a wingman”. He received the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters. He served in the Air Force for 23 years, and retired as a Lt. Col., with the F-86 Sabre the last fighter jet he flew.

    Don Bryan signing "Full House - Aces High"

    Five in One Day
    “The P-40 was the hardest plane to fly. Every landing was the start of three ground loops, first left, then right, then left (you hoped) before the plane would settle down. We called it the ‘Ground loop recovery’. At Pinellas during one training mission, my student and I got into a ‘friendly’ dogfight against each other. I had turned into him and was about ready to ‘gun’ him, when suddenly, he vanished from my sight. I eventually found him, and we engaged again. Once again, I was able to turn in on him and was about to gun him, when again he vanished. That was it. We flew straight back to base, and once I landed and taxied my plane, I got out and walked right over to his plane. I had to know what he had done in order to vanish so quickly. He called it the ‘inverted vertical reverse’. When I was about to gun him, he had his plane to the point where it was about to stall. He would then pull back on the stick as hard as he could, apply full left rudder, and then pushed the stick forward. You sure experienced a lot of negative Gs doing this maneuver. The torque of the engine prop flipped the plane around and he would vanish. This maneuver would later play an important role on the day I shot down five enemy fighters. On November 2, 1944, I first damaged two ME-109s, then preceded to shoot down three ME-109s in pretty quick succession. Then I encountered ‘THE ACE’! I don’t know what that German was flying because his plane was hotter than any ME-109 I had encountered. My P-51D was the fastest Mustang in the 352nd FG, (my crew chief did some ‘magic’ that hopped up the engine). Whoever this German was, he was good, very good, and he was getting close to clobbering me. I did the ‘inverted vertical reverse’, and lost him. I didn’t go back looking for him. It took a while for me to calm down, but I engaged two more ME-109s and got them, the last one with only one gun firing. The entire engagement lasted only 15 to 20 minutes.”

    The Legend of Y29
    “While we were stationed at Y-29 in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, I don’t think there was a hotter fighter group on the planet! I checked the records, and our newest pilot in the 328th had 190 combat hours, and the second newest had 210 combat hours. Each wihgman and element knew exactly what to do. The problem wasn’t getting pilots to fly, it was telling them they couldn’t fly. They all wanted to fly, especially missions that looked like they had the potential for enemy action. Our air-to-air victory ration while at Y-29 was 79 to 1. At Y-29, there was a bunch of junked airplanes at one end of the field, including a B-17 and P-61 Black Widow. We went over to the junked planes and removed the fuel. We set tanks on stands outside our tents and ran copper tubing from the fuel tanks into our tent stoves. We had 110-octane gas drip on the fire to help keep us warm. On January 1st, I was in the Ops tent, when we first saw flak bursts to the east. J C Meyers was starting his take-off roll with three flights when the Germans started the attack on the field. He shot down the first aircraft before his wheels were up. The German fighters were concentrating their fire on the junk airplanes, and even though they strafed them, they wouldn’t burn. We had drained the fuel to keep warm. For the first time, I really got to watch an air battle. In a dogfight, you were concerned with what was behind you and in front of you, so you didn’t have time to watch the entire dogfight around you. The triple As started firing, which were very noisy, and I saw a German fighter get shot down by one of our P-51s. He did a ‘split S’ at 50 feet and went right into the ground near the runway. Everyone was cheering and someone would yell out, ‘look over there, their goes another one down’. Again, another German fighter got hit, and he did a ‘split S’ at 50 feet and went right in. J C and his squadron shot down 23 Germans that morning without a loss, and almost all the planes that went down were near the field. One 366th P-47 was damaged, and my P-51D, “Little One III”, was also damaged and burned. I t was the only aircraft in the 352nd FG that was destroyed on the ground by enemy aircraft.”
    "Second To None"
    352nd Fighter Group
    The BlueNosers !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Spartanburg, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Donald Bryan 352nd FG !!!

    Capt Don Bryan...352nd FG
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CaptDonBryan352ndFG.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	36.5 KB 
ID:	205661   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	don_bryan_1.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	34.8 KB 
ID:	205662   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	don_bryan_1_3.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	34.7 KB 
ID:	205663   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	painting_P-51_Bryan.jpg 
Views:	44 
Size:	61.3 KB 
ID:	205664  
    "Second To None"
    352nd Fighter Group
    The BlueNosers !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Spartanburg, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Art work of Troy White..Bryan downs a 234 !

    Captain Don Bryan, CO of the 328th FS, 352nd FG rolls out behind an Arado 234 "Blitz" bomber flown by Hauptman Hirshberger of 6./KG 76 in the painting entitled "Perfidia"© by artist Troy White. Read more about this encounter and Don Bryan at this link: http://​www.starduststudios.com/​blueper.htm

    BlueNoser352!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "Second To None"
    352nd Fighter Group
    The BlueNosers !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    4,350
    I had the very great honour of meeting Don Bryan late last year, my condolences to his Family and Friends.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

- Part of the    Network -

KEY AERO AVIATION NEWS

MAGAZINES

AVIATION FORUM

SHOP

 

WEBSITES