43-6013           P51

 

On 8 March 1944, a P-51A Mustang, # 43-6013, assigned to 1st Air Commando Force Fighter Section, located at Hailakandi air field, departed on a top cover mission of the enemy held Anisakin air strip, was seen to dive on an enemy aircraft, setting it afire, then struck its tail with a wing, causing the loss of the enemy tail and the wing of the Mustang. The fighter pilot was Captain Erle H. Schneider, 0-660205. A witness was 1stLt John E. Meyer, 0-565126.

 

1stLt Meyer reported: Capt. Schneider and he were top cover for a strafing party when ordered to intercept enemy aircraft. Their dive started at 13,000 feet and continued to 5,000 feet when interception was made. They rolled out on the tail of a Zero and Capt. Schnider fired until the Zero started to burn. He kep firing and closing until too late to pull away. His P-51 right wing struck the rudder and vertical stabilizer of the Zero, shearing off the tail of the Zero and about two-thirds of the right wing of the P-51. The Zero crashed. The P-51 did two violent snap rolls to the right, not losing much altitude. He last saw it at 5,000 feet. He pulled up and lost sight of Capt. Schneider. The speed of interception was over 450 MPH.

 

SCHNEIDER, ERLE HENRY JR., Captain, # 0-660205, USAAF

 

Erle H. Schneider Jr., was born 21 January 1919 to Erle Henry Schneider (1893-1942) and Ethel Elizabeth (Williams) Schneider (1895-1975). Siblings included Dorothy Elizabeth (Schneider) Marshall (1918-1997), Evelyn Lorraine Schneider (1921-2010) and Grace Lynette (Schneider) Dugat (1925-2013). He was recorded as a Jewish serviceman.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940 while employed by the Schneider Furniture Co. He described himself as 5’10”, 150 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted (enlisted service # 38026332) at Camp Hulen, Texas, on 3 November 1941, with four years of college. He completed training as a fighter pilot and earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India and assigned to the “special operations” 1st Commando Group, Fighter Section. On 8 March 1944, a P-51A Mustang, # 43-6015, assigned to 1st Air Commando Force Fighter Section, located at Hailakandi air field, departed on a top cover mission of the enemy held Anisakin air strip, was seen to dive on an enemy aircraft, setting it afire, then struck its tail with a wing, causing the loss of the enemy tail and the wing of the Mustang. The Zero crashed. The P-51 did two violent snap rolls to the right. The speed of interception was over 450 MPH. The family placed a marker in the Evergreen Cemetery, Victoria, Texas.