“Tall in the Saddle” was the P-51D Mustang assigned to Captain Wendell M. Lucas of the 99th FS, 332nd FG in 1945. When Lucas completed his combat tour this Mustang was assigned to Lt. George Hardy. Lucas remained in Italy with the Group and shortly after the end of hostilities, on 22 June 1945 Captain Lucas assumed command of the “Fighting 99th”. Lucas was born in 1920 and hailed from Fairmont Heights, Maryland He graduated with Class 44-E at Tuskegee Army Airfield. Wendell died in 1966 and is buried in Sec: 35, Site: 3465, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington Virginia.

Photograph shows Tuskegee Airmen Fighter Pilots leaving the parachute room.

Left to right: Richard S. “Rip” Harder, Brooklyn, NY, Class 44-B; unidentified airman; Thurston L. Gaines, Jr., Freeport, NY, Class 44-G; Newman C. Golden, Cincinnati, OH, Class 44-G; Wendell M. Lucas, Fairmont Heights, MD, Class 44-E. Ramitelli, Italy, March 1945.

 

332nd Fighter Group pilots in a briefing room. First row, left to right, 1. Gentry E. Barnes, Lawrenceville, IL, 44-D; 2. Samuel W. Watts, Jr., New York, NY, 44-E; 3. Wendell M. Lucas, Fairmont Heights, MD, 44-E. Second row, 4. Harold M. Morris, Seattle, WA, 44-D; 5. John H. Porter, Cleaveland, OH, 44-C; 6. Joseph L. “Joe” Chineworth, Memphis, TN, 44-E. Third row, 7-9 Unidentified; 10 Wyrain T. Schell, Brooklyn, NY, 44-F.

Photograph by Toni Frissell, Library of Congress collection.

 

Sources:

Artwork courtesy Stardust Studios 

Findagrave.com 

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