"CHRISTMAS OVER RANGOON, 1941"

BY ROY GRINNELL

L/E of 1,250.

Signed by:
Chuck Older
Ken Jernstedt
Parker Dupouy
Duke Hedman
Bill Reed

Size:24" x 30"

Price: $275


American Fighter Aces
Series II

Christmas Day 1941 dawned hot and muggy in Rangoon, Burma. It would be another 115-degree day. Charles H.0lder was one of thirteen pilots of the American Volunteer Group's Third Pursuit Squadron standing alert near their shark-mouthed Tomahawks on Mingaladon Airdrome, north of Rangoon. In his first combat two days earlier he had been credited with two Japanese bombers.

At 11:30 the air raid sounded, and minutes later 13 Tomahawks, joined by 16 RAF Brewster Buffaloes, rose to meet the enemy. At 12:10 the Japanese formation was sighted - three waves of bombers [90 in all] and approximately 60 escorting fighters. George McMillan, R.T. Smith and Robert P. "Duke" Hedman attacked the left flank of the leading "V" of bombers while Chuck Older, Tommy Haywood, and Ed Overend worked over the right flank. The other seven took on the fighters. With Haywood on his right wing, Older attacked from below and to the right of the outboard "V". Opening fire at 200 yards in an almost vertical climb, he held the trigger drown until less than 100 yards, then kicked over in a hammerhead to dive away. Using this zoom and dive technique he and Haywood shot down two bombers each. As the bombers turned east for home, Older downed a Nakajima Oscar for his third victory of the day.

Twenty-four Japanese planes fell to the AVG that day. Chuck Older became an ace, as did Duke Hedman, who shot down four bombers and a fighter. Other credited AVG victories included three for McMillan and Smith, two each for Parker Dupouy, Bill Reed and Ed Overend and one each for Bob Brouk and Ken Jernstedt.