• Formed by Col. Peaslee following presentation of his theory to Gen. Doolittle. The purpose of the Scouting Force concept was for experienced, tour expired lead bomber pilots, escorted by volunteer fighter pilots, to fly ahead of bomber formations to determine weather conditions over the target, and if unfavourable direct the bomber stream to secondary or tertiary targets. Following 35 successful missions between 16th July and 12th September 1944, flown from Steeple Morden, the concept was proved and a Scouting Force formed for each of the three Air Divisions. Peaslee went to lead the 1st Scouting Force at Honington while the 2nd Scouting Force continued at Steeple Morden. Although based at Steeple Morden and acting as a fourth squadron with the 355th FG, who provided all logistical support, the SFX was considered a 1st Air Division unit. With the 355th FG, the SFX differentiated their aircraft by underscoring the two code letters used by the three regular 355th FG squadrons. These codes will be shown as WR/-, OS/- and YF/-. The three different codes indicated which of the three 355th FG squadrons maintained the individual aircraft, which were split fairly evenly between them. The SFX initially had a strength of eight ex-bomber pilots and eight fighter pilots.
    Colonel Budd Peaslee
    Col. Budd Peaslee, Commanding Officer, Scouting Force (Experimental) with his P-51D Mustang 44-13283 YF/-A "Carolyn Ann" named for his wife.

    Col. Budd Peaslee's "Carolyn Ann" now wearing the 5E-A code of the 1st Scouting Force at Honington

    Below some views of the briefing room & mess
    1LT William E. Cox, 1st Scouting Force. On 3 April 1945 he was flying P-51D serial 44-13754 (coded 9H-F) when he started having engine trouble west of Kiel. Deciding to nurse his stricken ship to Sweden, he disappeared into the undercast near Flensburg estuary; he was declared MIA (MACR 13944).
    1LT Robert Burkholder, a former B-17 driver with the 457th BG, seen here with his P-51 "The Little Duchess" after transfer to the 1st Scouting Force.

    2 November 1944: LT John M. Geary of the 1st Scouting Force was on takeoff roll from Deenethorpe in P-51D serial 44-13764 (coded 5E-B) when he rode through this accident. Repaired, the ship was lost in combat 15 February 1945; Flt Off Irvin E. Lang was KIA (MACR 12377). Geary, flying with the 384th Ftr Sq, 364th FG would be shot down on 1 January, but evaded capture (MACR 11531).

    1St Lt. Vincent G. Dressendorfer, Attached To Hdq., 1St Bomb Division, Stands In Front Of His Plane, The North American P-51 'The Starduster' At An 8Th Air Force Base In England On 31 July 1944.
    Capt. Dale McCrory (ex 381st BG) & "Scotty"
    9 December 1944: CAPT Ellis J. Wheless is a very fortunate man. Flying P-51D 44-13709 "Frances Anne" (coded 5E-H) of the 1st Scouting Force, he was rolling out on landing when 1LT Richard L. "Spider" Smith landed behind him in P-51D 44-13557 "Easy Does It" (coded 5E-E). Smith apparently lost control on the icy runway and climbed up the tail of Wheless' ship, stopping just short of removing his head.
    Capt. Dale McCrory (ex 381st BG) & P-51D "The Cis-Peq Rocket"
    17 October 1944: P-51D 44-13686 "Rugged Rebel" assigned to LTC Allison C. Brooks of the 1st Scouting Force doesn't quite leave Honington. 1LT John J. Allen was at the controls when, shortly after takeoff, he suffered power loss. The ship was repaired and returned to service - only to be lost in combat four months later. Allen would be in the cockpit again when the ship went down 3 February 1945 over Holland; he became a POW for the duration (MACR 12173).

    Colonel Brooks, Commanding Officer Of The 1St Scouting Group, 91St Bomb Group, Seated In The Cockpit Of His Plane To Taking Off From The Base At Bassingbourne, England, On Another Mission.
    CAPT Dwight W. Hartman joined the 1st Scouting Force following completion of his combat tour with the 305th BG.

    LT Merrill J. DuMont, a former B-17 pilot with the 303rd BG, sits in the cockpit of his Mustang fighter following his transfer to the 1st Scouting Force. His P-51D 44-13659 was coded 9H-J and nicknamed "Chip."

    Like many other 'Mustangs' of the 364th FG, P-51K 44-11567 "Dana Kay" appears to have migrated to the 1st Scouting Force. Originally assigned to the 384th Ftr Sq (coded 5Y-P), she suffered this landing accident 15 January 1945 at the hands of LT Wayne O. Fox.

    LT William E. Scofield of the 1st Scouting Force based at Honigton. On 21 January 1945 he was involved in a taxiing accident with P-51D 44-15593. It would appear he emerged relatively unscathed since this photo was taken less than a month later.
    11 October 1944: P-51D 44-13891, assigned to 1LT John J. Allen of the 1st Scouting Force, was in the hands of another pilot today with the featured results. 2LT Norman L. Box of the 385th Ftr Sq, 364th FG was TDY to the 1st SF when he suffered this mishap on landing.

    LT William L. Rogers of the 1st Scouting Force. A number of the SF pilots were former bomber pilots, although Rogers' exact history is unknown at present. On 15 February 1945 he endured a taxiing accident at Honington in P-51B 42-106727. Less than two months later flying P-51D 44-63748, he suffered an engine failure over Berlin, and became a POW for the duration of the war.

    P-51B 42-106727 had started its combat career with the 368th Ftr Sq 359th FG coded CV-F. When the Group upgraded to D models she was transferred to the 1st Scouting Force as a trainer.This is the taxing accident at Honington
    P-51D 44-72239 of the 1st Scouting Force. The ship nicknamed Zoom-Zoozie was assigned to CAPT John W. Simpson who had formerly served with the 356th FG.

    LTC Allison C. Brooks, commander of the 1st Scouting Force, stands with his assigned P-51D 44-13686 "Rugged Rebel."

    P-51D 44-13557 "Easy Does It" of the 1st Scouting Force.Taken at Brest France

    Pilots of the 1st Scouting Force with P-51D 44-13699, coded OS-D. Aircraft was formerly assigned to the 355th FG.

    Lt. William A Cox. SFX/1SF (ex 355th FG). P-51D 44-13699 OS-D "GI Jive".
    P-51D 44-13699 OS-D GI Jive. Crew Chief S-Sgt. Hartsough seen on the wing admiring the artwork on GI Jive

    P-51D-10-NA 44-14262 Markings here appear to be of the 4th Fighter Group. Later crashed April 12 1945 at Bassingbourn England with pilot Lt. Dominic T. Taurone 857 Bomb Squadron.
    P-51D 44-13764 5E-B. Pilot is Phil Algar on his way to Grafton Underwood for the 200th mission party of his old unit the 384th BG

    P-51D 44-13709 5E-H Frances Ann. The remains of the SFX code of YF-H may still be seen


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