In the November 2013 issue, FineScale Modeler presented a special Showcase featuring a pair of 1/24 scale P-47s built by Dave Gianakos, a frequent contributor to FSM. The models were identical twins: One went to the aircraft’s pilot, Russell Kyler. The other went to Boxted Airfield Historical Group & Museum, in the village of Langham, near Colchester, Essex, England.
During World War II, Royal Air Force Station Boxted was home to the famous 56th Fighter Group, also known as “Zemke’s Wolf Pack” for its commander, Hubert “Hub” Zemke. Among its pilots were America’s leading ace in Europe, Francis “Gabby” Gabreski and a bright, young pilot from Pennsylvania — U.S. Army Air Force 2nd Lt. R. Kyler.
Still sounding sharp and lively at 89, Russell apologized for a slight delay in scheduling. He had been busy moving to Texas, and had some computer troubles as well. Still, he graciously granted us an interview.