James Sullins "Sully" Varnell jr.

USAAF   Captain

Silver Star (x2),   DFC (x3),  AM (x17)

Born 9 December 1921 (Georgia?).
From Charleston, Tennessee.
Joined the USAAF in March 1942.
Graduated early 1943 at Marianna, Fla.
Sent overseas the summer 1943.
To 2FT, 52 FG, 12AF in July 1943.
Mainly flying Spitfires doing Army co-op Spring 1944.
2/52 is moved to the 15th AF.
They get P-51s & begin fighter ops.
Sully, a "natural", gets down to business.
He downs 17 planes in the next 3 months.
His Crew Chief was Elmer Dalebroux, from Greenbay, Wisconsin, assistant Crew Chief was Charles Jones & his armourer was Murrell Fleming.
Tour expired, he's rotated home to train other pilots while Dalebroux & Jones became Lt. Hans Zachmann's men.
Killed in a Flying Accident 9 April, 1945, near Pinellas Field, Florida.
Varnell is the 10th ranked Mustang Ace of WW2.
Sully Varnell
New ace Sully Varnell (right) is congratulated
by his Crew Chief, S/Sgt. Elmer Dalebroux


34 Army Air Force Aces Have Score of 15 or More
Maj. Bong Leads List with 40 Enemy Planes;
Colonels Gabreski, Lynch Also Included

WASHINGTON, 22 Dec. 1944 (UP) — An honor roll of 34 Army Air Force fighter aces, each of whom has destroyed 15 or more enemy planes in combat, was issued by the War Department today and at the top of the list was Maj. Richard I Bong, of Poplar, Wis.
Among them, they have shot down a total of 689 1/4 German and Jap planes.
The Eighth Air Force, which operates in Europe against the Germans, had the most aces — 13 — with scores of 15 or better kills. The Fifth Air Force, operating in the Southwest Pacific, was next with 10, but it boasted the two top men - Maj. Bong and Maj. Thomas B. McGuire, of San Antonio, Tex., who has bagged 30 Jap planes.
Next in line were the 15th Air Force which operates in the Mediterranean and has four aces in the select circle; the Ninth which operates in Europe and has three top-ranking aces, and the 13th (based in the South Pacific) and the 14th (based in China) each with two.
Maj. Bong is credited with 38 kills but since the list was tabulated Dec. 15, he has run his bag to 40.
Other high ranking fighter pilots and their scores were:

Lt. Col. Francis S. Gabreski, of 95 Spruce St., Oil City, Pa., Eighth A.F., 28 (POW in Germany)
Maj. Robert S. Johnson, Lawton, Okla., Eighth A.F., 27.
Maj. George E. Preddy, Greensboro, N.C., Eighth A.F., 24.
Capt. Don S. Gentile, Piqua, O., Eighth A.F., 23.
Maj. Gerald T. Johnson, Eugene, Ore., Fifth A.F., 23.
Maj. Fred J. Christensen Jr., Watertown, Mass., Eighth A. F., 22.
Col. Neel E. Kearby, Dallas. Tex., Fifth A. F., 22. (Missing in action).
Col. Glenn E. Duncan, Houston, Tex., Eighth A.F., 21 1/2 (Missing in action).
Capt. John J. Voll, Goshen, O., 15th A.F., 21.
Maj. Walker M. Mahurin, Fort Wayne, Ind., Eighth A.F., 21.
Maj. Jay T. Robbins, Coolidge, Tex., Fifth A.F., 21.
Lt. Col. Robert B. Westbrook, Hollywood, Cal., 13th A.F., 20.
Col. Charles H. MacDonald, St. Petersburg. Fla., Fifth A.F., 20.
Lt. Col. Thomas J. Lynch, of Catasauqua, Pa., Fifth A.F. 26, (killed in action)
[Col. Lynch was an engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh and was graduated in
1940. His widow, a Swissvale resident, was the former Rosemary Fullen, of 7368 Schley Ave.]

Col. Hubert Zemke, Missoula, Mont., Eighth, 19 1/2.
Lt. Col. David C. Schilling, Traverse City, Mich., Eighth, 19.
Col. David L. Hill, Victoria, Tex., 14th A.F., 18 1/2.
Capt. John T. Godfrey, Woonsocket, R. I., Eighth, 18 (prisoner of war in Germany).
Lt. Col. Herschel H. Green, Mayfield, Ky., 15th A.F., 18.
Capt. Duane W. Beesen, Boise, Ida., Eighth, 18 (prisoner of war in Germany).
Maj. Walker Carl Beckham, Defuniak Springs, Fla., Eighth, 18 (prisoner of war in Germany).
Maj. Don M. Beerbower, Hill City, Minn., Ninth A.F., 17 1/2 (killed in action).
Capt. James S. Varnell, Charleston, Tenn., 15th, 17.
Capt. Cyril F. Homer, Sacramento, Cal., Fifth, 17.
Maj. Edward Cragg, Cos Cob, Conn., Fifth, 17 (missing in action).
Capt. Glen T. Eagleston, Alhambra, Cal., Ninth, 16 1/2.
Lt Col. William N. Reed. Marion, Ia., 14th, 16 1/2.
Maj. George S. Welch, Wilmington, Del., Fifth, 16.
Lt. Col. Richard E. Turner, Bartlesville, Okla., Ninth, 16.
Maj. Samuel J. Brown, Tulsa, Okla., 15th, 15 1/2.
Maj. Bill Harris, Springville, Cal., 13th A.F., 15.
Capt. Richard A. Peterson, Alexandria, Minn., Eighth, 15.



Victories Include :

29 May 1944
30 May 1944

31 May 1944

9 June 1944
10 June 1944
16 June 1944
26 June 1944
27 June 1944
9 July 1944
26 July 1944
4 Aug 1944

one Me109
one Me109
one Ju88
one FW190
one Me109
one FW190
one Me110
one Me109
two Me210s
one Me410
  3   Me110s
  3   Me109s
one Me309
one Ju52
destroyed &
destroyed &
destroyed [1]

17 / 0 / 2


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--- American Aces ---


Thanks go out to

George Fisher for the photos & infos !

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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