Jerry Yellin enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Feb. 15, 1942, his 18th birthday and graduated from Luke Field in August, 1943 as a fighter pilot. He was in combat in the Pacific Theater and Iwo Jima with the 78th Fighter Squadron and participated in the first land based fighter mission over Japan on April 7, 1945 and the last mission of the war on August 14, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf cluster and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf clusters. He was discharged a Captain in December 1945.
The beautiful blue-nosed mustang called “Petie 2nd”, a 15th Air Force combat veteran was purchased by Tony Buechler, a long time Warbird member and supporter, in 1985. He has flown it 2400 hours in those 29 years. Tony considers himself the custodian of the airplane, saying “no one can really own a piece of history, you just take care of it until you pass it on to he next guy.”