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EARLY FLYING DAYS

US MILITARY CAREER

AIR SHOW PERFORMER


COMMUNITY SERVICE

 

This website is dedicated to our dad, John W. "Wild Bill" Crump. He lived a full & rich life and dedicated it to his country, family, and community. He flew P-40, P-47 and P-51 fighters in WWII, served in the US Air Force for 23 years, and became an air show performer after his retirement. He flew over 60 aircraft and had aeronautical ratings in single engine, multi-engine, land and sea planes, and also held ratings in helicopters, gliders, and jets. He made it his mission to get as many people interested in aviation, including the young. He would always provide free airplane rides to interested youths at airshows hoping that they would pursue an aviation career. He aIso volunteered his time to his community. I hope you enjoy reading about his career.

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The story of Wild Bill Crump and the 356th Fighter
Group / 360th Squadron from August 1944 - May 1945 has been compiled in a manuscipt by author Shaun Crump. Shaun, no relation to Wild Bill, lives in England. He became interested in military history & aviation and in his research came across the true story of a US pilot who flew 5 combat missions with a coyote in his cockpit. Here are some excerpts from his work:

Introduction
Dedication
The Early Years
Delivering Mustangs
Mission - 5 Dec 44
Mission - 6 Jan 45
Mission - 6 Feb 45
Mission - 21 Feb 45
Mission - 2 Apr 45
Squadron Pilots
Squadron Aircraft
Bibliography

His work is in manuscript form and it is our hope that we can find a publisher for his book. Shaun can be contacted at crump.s@btinternet.com.

 

   

EARLY FLYING DAYS

1929 - 1st Airplane Ride

JOHN W. "WILD BILL" CRUMP, was born on July 2, 1924 in Opportunity Washington. His first flight was at the age of five in a Ford Tri-Motor. He is on the far right in this photo. Bills dad, Jim Crump, is at the far left and got both his son's interested in aviation.

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First Lesson

Bill took his first lesson in a Taylorcraft Cub at Boeing Field.

Bill & Culver Dart

Age 16

At age 16, Bill stands next to a Culver Dart aircraft.

Bill & Gull Wing Stinson

Gull Wing Stinson

Bill's love of aviation took him to airports all around the State of Washington. Here Bill stands next to a Gull Wing Stinson.

U.S. MILITARY CAREER

Gunnery School Graduate

Gunnery School Graduate

When WWII started, Bill wanted to join the service to support the war effort. He was able to graduate early his senior year from Edmonds High School so he could enlist in the US Army Air Force. He was sent to Harlingen Aerial Gunnery School in Harlingen, TX where he completed the gunnery program and then was accepted into the aviation cadet program.

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Jeep / Wild Bill / Ray Burwell

He completed his flight training in Texas and graduated in class 44B at Moore Army Air Base, Mission, TX. Bill found a coyote pup in 1944 while he was going thru pilot training at Harding Field, Nebraska. The pup was only two weeks old and Bill named him Jeep after Popeye's pet . He took him south to Baton Rouge for P-47 training and Jeep became accustumed to flying. Bill then smuggled him aboard the H/M Queen Elizabeth in an empty gas mask case to England where Bill was stationed.

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Wild Bill & Jeep

Jeep had "Dog Tags", a Form 5 log book , and immunization records. Bill and Jeep were stationed at RAF Martlesham Heath Airfield Ipswich, England. More history about the pilots and crew that were based at Martlesham Heath Airfield can be found at the www.mhas.org.uk/ webpage.

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P-47 Razorback

Wild Bill getting ready to enter the cockpit of his
P-47 Razorback for a mission to Germany. The
Razorback was a very dependable aircraft as it would take alot of damage and still get the pilot back safely.

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Jeep & Wild Bill - P47 Razorback

Wild Bill and Jeep pose for a photo next to Bill's
P-47. Jeep is laying on a 500 lb bomb. Wild Bill went on to transition into the P-51 and logged 311 combat hours, which consisted of 77 missions, mostly strafing, flakbusting and flying escort.

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Wild Bill with P-51 Mustang

While stationed at RAF Martlesham Heath, Bill belonged to the 360th Fighter Squadron (356th Fighter Group). Here Bill poses with his P-51 Mustang which was a model D and had tail number 415056.

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Jackie - P51D & Wild Bill

Wild Bill and his P-51 Mustang. Note the image of the coyote on the side of the fuselage.

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Wild Bill

Wild Bill with his aircraft "Jackie" which was named after his high school sweet heart.

P-51 Pilot Huie Lamb

Wild Bill helped save the life of fellow P-51 pilot Huie Lamb. While Huie was returning back from a mission to Germany he crashed landed into the North Sea. Read more about Huie's crash landing and his rescue.

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Jeep - 5 Combat Missions

Jeep, the only Coyote in the World to complete
5 missions in WWII in a P-47 supporting the Allied effort defeating the Axis powers.

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Jeep & Wild Bill

Here is Jeep as a pup and Wild Bill in a P-47 Razorback . Jeep was the only member of the species Canis latrans known to have served in combat in WW II.

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Jeep's Gravesite - Ipswich, England

Jeep was killed shortly after his fifth combat mission when he was accidentially runover by a military vehicle. Jeep was buried with full military honors and his grave site is on the grounds at Playford Hall in Ipswich, England.

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Wild Bill at Jeep's Grave Site

Wild Bill returned to Ipswich, England in 1992 to visit RAF Martlesham Heath Airfield and also visit Playford Hall where he lived. Playford Hall was built in 1560 and is surrounded by a moat. Here he stands next to Jeep's gravesite which is on the grounds at Playford Hall.

Wild Bill Pose

Wild Bill Crump

Wild Bill poses for his last mission from the RAF Martlesham Heath Airfield in Ipswich, England.

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Short Snorter

Wild Bill's Short Snorter that he carried during his military career. One of the signatures is Bob Hope's which is on the far right side just above the bottom number 1. Other signatures are James B. Reidy, Bob Reed, and Mike Yannell.

British Pound Short Snorter

Wild Bill's Short Snorter signed on a British pound by pilots of the 360th Fighter Squadron.  

(Left) Capt. Bill Crump, George H. Schalck, Robert P. Schmidt, R. M. Kinney, Herick J. Horner, E. W. Schrull, J. A. Hickey, W. C. Boucek, J. E. Stanick, J. P. Weller, B. D. McNary, T. A Cook, A. M. Baker, C. S. Poppell, R. J. Shea, Lawrence B. Proctor, J. F. Stevenson, R. D. Schmalz, G. W. Seanor, J. Remenicky, James G. Charlton, T. Mauldin, & Don Jones. 

(Right) Michael P. Yannell, Dale T. Quigley, Louis R. Switzer, Theodore J. Urban, Ray Burwell, Bob Gleason, Preston W. Easley, William K. Dunn, Wayne C. Gatlin, Nunzio B. Ceraolo, John C. Pidwell, John W. Carlise, Ernest W. Corner, Thomas M. Casey & William G. Thomas.

Notice the signature Thomas M. Casey is signed perpendicular to the rest of the names. Lt. Casey was a B-17 pilot with the 486th Bomber Group. Additional information about these pilots can be located at Little Friends & Squadron Pilots.

360th Fighter Squadron

Pilots of the 360th Squadron, 356th Fighter Group taken at RAF Martlesham Heath Airfield, Ipswich, England in 1944. The 356th was known as the 'Hard Luck" Fighter Group. Despite excellent leadership, the 356th had the highest ratio of loses to enemy aircraft claims of all 8th Air Force fighter groups.

360th Squadron Video

Actual video of Wild Bill Crump and the 360th Fighter Squadron at Martlesham Heath Air Field - Ipswich, England. (Requires Quicktime for video to play)

Army Air Force Flight Operations - Martlesham Heath Air Field

Lieutenants Donald Carlson, Robert E. Barnhart, Dante G. Ciocchi & Wild Bill at Martlesham Heath Airfield. Wild Bill is wearing the anti-G pants.

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Jackie - P51D #415056

Here is a photo of Wild Bill returning from a combat mission to Germany.

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Bill's Business Card

Discharged from the service in 1946, Bill returned to his home in Edmonds, WA and became a flight instructor and airline pilot.

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Berlin Airlift - 1948

In 1948, Bill re-enlisted back into milititary service where he joined the USAF. His first assignment was flying the DC-4 in the Berlin Airlift.

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Bob Hope's Pilot

Bill also flew Bob Hope and the Les Brown Band from Frankfurt to Berlin, Germany on Christmas Eve - 1948.

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C-124 Globemaster

Bill was promoted to the rank of major and became a pilot of the Douglas C-124 Globe Master (7th Troop Carrier Squadron) which were based at Larsen Air Force Base, WA. The C-124 was the largest troop carrier in the world. As a cargo hauler, the C-124 could carry tanks, guns, trucks and other heavy equipment. In its passenger-carrying role, it could carry 200 fully equipped troops on its double decks or 127 litter patients and their attendants. It was the only aircraft of its time capable of transporting heavy equipment such as tanks and bulldozers without prior disassembly.

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Spirit of St. Louis Movie Flyby

Bill leads a formation of C-124 GlobeMasters for a low level fly-by for the film "Spirit of St. Louis" starring Jimmy Stewart. This was the lowest, fastest, and closet formation of this aircraft that had ever been done. As this perfect diamond formation descended below 200-ft AGL the movie camera and crew were blown off their pedestal and the footage was never used in the film.

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Major Crump

Major Crump with a Douglas C-124 Globemaster.

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Capt. Crump with C-124 Crew - Larsen AFB

In 1954, Bill led a squadron of nine C-124 Cargo Masters to France where the they assisted the French by airlifting 500 paratroop/commandos and their equipment to Indochina, landing at Da Nang's Tourane Airfield. It was the longest troop airlift in history at that time. After dropping off the French Troops in Vietnam, the C-124s continued across the Pacific back to their home base, making the airlift an around-the-world flight.

AIR SHOW PERFORMER

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Miss America P-51 Airshow Pilot

Bill's love of aviation took him to becoming a airshow performer. He joined the crew of Miss America, a P-51 Mustang and became one of their airshow pilots. Here he is performing at the Paine Field International Air Show.

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Pilot Bill Crump

Bill flew Miss America for two years doing air show performances. Bill remarked that flying this aircraft 50 years after WWII came back to him naturally. He said that re-flying this aircraft was the highlight of his flying career.

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Miss America - Pilot Bill Crump

In Bill's memoirs, he wrote "After flying this magnificent machine after a 43 year break I found her very forgiving and responsive. To hear her engine come to life is one of the most exhilirating experiences. The sound caused from the Merlin Rolls-Royce engine is unmistakable and once you hear it, you will always remember it the rest of your life."

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Cessna 150 Aerobat

Here Bill performs a two turn snap roll with the smoke system on in his Cessna 150 Aerobat. Almost every weekend, weather permitting, he would put on a mini air show over Puget Sound for the residents of Edmonds, WA.

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Bill's Aerobats

Bill owned two Cessna 150 Aerobats which he used for air show performances and aerobatic instruction. He had both aircraft painted red, white, and blue. Aircraft N8175V was named the Spirit of Edmonds and aircraft N135AU was named the Spirit of Sequim.

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Paine Field International Air Show

Bill posing for the crowd at the Paine Field International Air Show which was held at Paine Field, Snohomish County. His Aerobat had a standard 0-200 engine with no inverted or fuel injection system. All his maneuvers had to be with positive G's or the engine would quit.

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Bill Crump

Bill takes a break between performing in the P-51 Mustang and his Cessna 150 Aerobats.

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Air Show Performer

Bill gives "Thumbs Up" after completing an air show in his Aerobat. He would end his airshow presentation by doing a dead stick landing.

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"High Flight"

Bill also owned and operated "High Flight", the only licensed aerial cremains spreading business in Washington State.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

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Bill Crump

In 1980 he became president of the Edmonds Rotary Club. During his tenure, he conceived and directed construction of the Gazebo Bandstand in the the Edmonds City Park. In 1983, as Commander of the American Legion, he was responsible for the return of the War Memorial which is located in front of the Edmonds Museum.

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General Douglas MacArthur Award Recepient

In 1988, Bill was awarded the General Douglas MacArthur Award for his dedication to his community.

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Olympic Torch Bearer

Because of Bill's community service, he was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch for 6/10th of a mile on it's journey from Los Angeles to Atlanta for the 1996 Olympic Games.

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Sequim Veteran's Memorial

Bill established a Veteran's Memorial in Carrie Blake Park in Sequim, WA to memorilize the Sequim service personnel who gave their lives for their country in past wars.

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Edmonds Veteran's Memorial

Bill Crump was instrumental in re-establishing the Veteran's Memorial in front of the Edmonds Museum. This memorial honors the lives of Edmonds residents who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting our nation wars.

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Parade Grand Marshall

Bill was chosen to be the Grand Marshall of the Sequim Irrigation Festival Parade for his contribution to the Sequim, WA community.

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Receiving Recognition From The Queen of Sweden

In 1990, Bill returned to Sweden where he and other pilots were honored by the King and Queen of Sweden. Here Bill and fellow pilot Dick Lunstrum greet the Queen of Sweden. As WWII was winding down in Europe, these pilots volunteered to fly unarmed P-51 to the Swedish government. These pilots did not wear their uniforms and also removed their military identification including their dog tags. They were allowed to carry a pistol to be used for defending themselves in case they had to land before arriving in Sweden. This was a top secret mission as Sweden had stayed nuetral during the war.

YouTube Video - Wild Bill Crump

In 2002, our good friend, Einar Ask, sat down with Wild Bill and captured with a tape recorder Wild Bill explaining the story behind many of the photos in his albums about his career. Einar then scanned each photo and put together this video. Einar has done extensive video and media work, please visit his website at www.einar.com.

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Wild Bill's tanks ran dry 8 Feb 08. Please direct your comments to wildbillcrump@comcast.net. Thanks for visiting his website.