Jolly Roger's crew

Mick and Partridge's Plane: The Jolly Roger

Jolly Roger in flight

The picture at left was taken in December of 1943, and loaned by Mrs. McKenna. Billy's friends Ray Partridge and "Mick" McKenna (back row in the picture) were pilot and co-pilot on Billy's crossing from the U.S. to England. The men in the front row—Fred Becker, Albert C. Diaz and Douglas Mills—were also on that flight.

Billy with Jolly Roger Partridge with Jolly Roger
Here's Billy with the Jolly Roger... ... and here's her pilot, Fred, or Ray, Partridge (or "Peter Piper" as Billy wrote on the reverse of this photo).


Billy with Jolly Roger

Becker with Jolly Roger

At left is another picture of Billy with the plane; above is another of her crew, Fred Becker, who was with Billy in Florida.


At right is different picture of a later crew of Mick's, loaned by Mrs. McKenna. Mick is the one directly under the "E Flight" sign, who looks like he was talking as the photo was snapped. Fred Partridge is on the far left. The picture was dated March, 1944, and except for Mick and Partridge, the remaining crewmates are different than the ones in the December, 1943 picture. According to Mick's notes on the reverse of this photo, the man in front is E.L. Sody. On either side of him are N.D. Smith and G.H. Oakes. The gentleman with the moustache in the back row with Mick is M. F. Groom.

Jolly Roger crew


And here is a picture of the distinctive "Jolly Roger" itself being painted on the plane. The picture is from Freeman, p. 179. Here is the caption:

"The 323 BG were fortunate in enlisting a pretty WAC from IX BC to paint nose art. PFC Barbara O'Brien touches up Jolly Roger which would survive 130 missions."

Painting the Jolly Roger


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