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At the end of WW2, on April 11, 1945, the last documented air battle occurred in the skies over Europe on the western front near Berlin between a Piper L-4 named “Miss Me!?” and a Fiesler Fi-156 Storch. While flying his 142nd mission, Pilot Lieutenant Duane Francies and his observer Lieutenant William Martin, were scouting ahead for the 5th Armored Battalion, which was heading northeastward towards Berlin. Francies spotted the Fi-156 hugging the terrain below and giving chase, they opened fire on the storch using their Colt .45 pistols. After trying to evade the L-4 and with holes in his windscreen, the Storch pilot tried to make a hasty landing in a beet field. He lost one wing and cartwheeled the plane into a pile of parts. Francies landed his L-4 in an adjacent field, and then he and Martin captured the two Germans who had survived the crash. One of the most unusual victories in the history of combat in that the involved Storch was the only aircraft known to have been downed by handgun fire in the entire war. The nose art has two meanings, thus the exclamation point AND the question mark. The exclamation mark was for the enemy, the Pilot wanted them to “Miss Me!” And the other was to his girlfriend – do you “Miss Me?”
Princeton Airport Centennial Show, NJ, USA. 17 September 2011 Original photo click ‘show full description’.

Lt. Francies pilot (left) and Lt. Martin observer (right) in front of the “Miss Me!?” photo courtesy of Beckley family

Welcome! Your visit is most appreciated! Bubbling from Central Jersey for over 5 years. It has been a fascinating journey, in more ways than one. A heartfelt thanks to all of you for the many views and kind words and faves! Keep ’em coming! God Bless! =)

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  • Andrew (ark photograhy art)
    Andrew (ark ph...about 3 years ago

    great shot, love the pov and comp.

  • Thank you very much!

    – reindeer

  • Woodie
    Woodieabout 3 years ago

    Love the story which is new to me. Would make and interesting painting.
    I’m also into Nose Art and its history. Into faves !!
    Cheers Neil

  • Glad you like the story Neil….i agree about the painting. In fact, one has been done. Lt. Duane Francis himself commissioned Burt Mader to paint this scene. Sincere thanks for the fave! Click Here to see Burt Mader’s rendition ~ Duel In The Sun

    – reindeer

  • Woodie
    Woodieabout 3 years ago

    Excellent painting and into fave as well
    Thanks Neil

  • You’re very welcome. =)

    – reindeer

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