Capt. James Reed of the 59th FS/33rd FG
by Mark Joyce

I obtained these photographs almost 10 years ago from Capt. James Reed. Reed graduated from flight school on April 29, 1942 and was assigned to the 59th Fighter Squadron of the 33rd Fighter Group. He was with the squadron until Oct. 31, 1943, when the squadron was at Paestum, Italy. During that time he flew four different P-40s. The first, named RENEE after his girlfriend, was flown off the aircraft carrier USS Chenango during Operation Torch. It was turned over to the Free French on Dec. 20, 1942. Unfortunately I have no photo of it, but there is a profile of it in Carl Molesworth's book, "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the MTO."

Reed's second P-40 was named IRENE. At least, he wrote to me that it was his 2nd, although a book on the 33rd FG indicates it was his third. The others named in the photo are seated, L to R, Capt. Raddin, Lt. Berry Duncan, and Lt. Neely.

Reed's third P-40 was named IRENE II.

His fourth P-40 was named Cloud Hopper, suggested by Reed's girlfriend Irene. The name Florence and the clover were already on it when Reed was assigned it, perhaps put on by the ferry pilot.

Flying the P-40 against German fighters

© Mark Joyce 2013