P-47D-25-RE "Bubbletop" Unit: 61st FS, 56th FG, 8th AF, USAAF Serial: HV-A (42-26418) Pilot (Polish?) - CO of 61st FS, Lt.Col.Francis Gabreski (28 victories).
Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski (born Franciszek Stanisław Gabryszewski; January 28, 1919 – January 31, 2002) was a Polish-American career pilot in the United States Air Force, retiring as a colonel with 26 years of military service. He was the top American and United States Army Air Forces fighter ace over Europe in World War II and a jet fighter ace with the Air Force in the Korean War. Although best known for his credited destruction of 34½ aircraft in aerial combat and being one of only seven U.S. combat pilots to become an ace in two wars, Gabreski was also one of the Air Force's most accomplished leaders. In addition to commanding two fighter squadrons, he had six command tours at group or wing level, including one in combat in Korea, totaling over 11 years of command and 15 overall in operational fighter assignments. After his Air Force career, Gabreski headed the Long Island Rail Road, a commuter railroad owned by the State of New York, and struggled in his attempts to improve its service and financial condition. After two and a half years, he resigned under pressure and went into full retirement.
Photo by Pierre Tung