My Depiction of Col. Leo C. Moon leading his 508th SQN P-47 Thunderbolts on one of their many ground attack missions during late 1944 and early 1945. The 508th was a squadron of the 404th Fighter Group, Ninth Tactical Air Force.
The group was heavily involved in supporting the Allied forces advancing into the Rhine region during the last winter of the war. Nick named “The Tin Hornets” , the 404th accounted for the bulk of IX TAC’s record claims against rail facilities on Feb. 14, one of the Group’s biggest days, with 13 locomotives destroyed or damaged, 454 railroad cars destroyed or damaged, and rails cut in 38 places in attacks on 11 marshalling yards west of the Rhine.
The P-47s typically attacked ground positions with rockets and GP bombs and finished up with strafing runs on the primary target and other targets of opportunity. Col. Moon was considered a fearless leader, and some felt he was at time a bit reckless with his bold, and perhaps at time, unorthodox tactics. He like to load as many weapons a possible on his squadron’s aircraft and unleash totally devastating attacks on his targets. As Group Commander, he was known as “Little Ceasar” – being short in stature but big in character.