I was a pilot in the 394th Bomb Group, 6th Bomb Squadron flying Martin B-26 Marauders. I joined the group at Cambrai, France in October 1944 and flew 33 combat missions before the war ended. Of these missions our crew was credited with 10- group lead, 7-box lead and 6-flight lead missions.
The group had moved to Venlo, Holland in order to be closer to the front lines; however, the war ended and we never flew any missions from Venlo.
Prior to going overseas, I had been a flight instructor in the Martin B-26, and at wars end had logged 1,375 hours in the B-26 and held the rank of captain.
At Venlo, we continued to fly training missions. One day, a captain from the infantry arrived on base to visit with his brother who was our squadron first sergeant. He wanted a ride in the B-26, and I was selected to be the pilot.
We took off from Venlo and flew all the way to Berlin following the Autobahn and flying about 200 feet above the ground at about 210 MPH. The captain got a birds eye view of some of Germany and thoroughly enjoyed the flight.
After we landed, he took me to a weapons carrier that had a footlocker in the back, it was loaded with German pistols, rifles, daggers and medals of all sorts. He told me to pick out a pistol, and I chose this P-38 Mauser. serial number 2567 f. He also gave me a German dagger and some medals. He told me that he had gotten the P-38 pistols from the German factory and that they were completely assembled. I doubt that what he was doing was completely legitimate, but I was surely at the right place at the right time.
I have always cherished the pistol. I have fired a few rounds through it at the firing range, and it always operated flawlessly.
I was released from active duty and in Nov. 1946 joined the 196th Fighter Squadron, California Air National Guard when the unit was activated in Nov. 1946. I realized my dream of being a fighter pilot and flew the P-51 D and H, P.47, F-80, F-84E, F-86A, L and H, F-94 A, B and C, F-102 aircraft and the C-47 and the Douglas A-26. The squadron was recalled to active for 21 months during the Korean emergency, and I was stationed in Japan and Korea but flew no combat missions. I retired from the military in Feb. 1969. At that time, I was commander of the l63rd Fighter Interceptor Group, California ANG based at Ontario International Airport, California and flying F-102 aircraft.
I retired with the rank of Colonel and am a Command Pilot with 7, 845 total hours mostly in single engine jet fighter aircraft.
Donald L. Frisbie