Open Orbit

Franklin D Talcott

Franklin D. Talcott was born on 13 Feb, 1922 [1]. In 1940 he was living with his mother Fraces [2] at 107 W Twenty-Ninth Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Fraces was married to John Talcott [3]. Franklin was drafted during World War II on July 1, 1942 [2].

In 1944, Franklin was a 1st Lieutenant [1, 4] in the US Air Force, serving in 503rd Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group. The fighter squadron was based in Fowlmere Airfield in England (USAAF Station F-378). See [5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

On the 4th of August, 1943 Cap. Raymond Lancaster’s [10] Mustang [11] suffered mechanical failure after a raid. He was escorted by two pilots (Baker [12] and Rabb [13]) to neutral Sweden. Lancaster crash landed in Vellinge (but survived) [14]. After the Mustang with Lancaster did an emergency landing, the other two started the flight back to England

According to [15] they were intercepted by a German Bf-110 (incorrectly identified as a Dornier (see chapter F 5 och kriget in [16 p. 63])). The Bf-110G-4 (serial 720251 code G9+HX) was piloted by Hauptman Baron Fritz von Bucholtz. After a dogfight the Bf-110 was shot down. Unteroffizier Rudi Freund and the Engineer bailed out. Baron von Bucholtz was killed in the crash and buried in Vestre Cemetary in Copenhagen. Baker and Rabb however had used up too much fuel to safely make it back to England. They turned around and landed their planes Hot Pants [17] and Some Joke [18] in Sweden. Subsequently Lancaster, Rabb and Baker were interned, and sent back to England together on 1944-11-01.

On 1944-08-06, two days after the crash landing of the P-51D and the controlled landing of the two P-51B’s, Lt. Talcott took off in his P-51D #44-13917 You’ve Had It from F-378 in England. He took flak outside Bornholm, forcing him to land at Bulltofta in Sweden [19].

On August 6, 1944 [20], Talcott took off in his P-51D Mustang, from F-378 in England. He took flak outside Bornholm, forcing him to land his P-51D #44-13917 You’ve Had It at Bulltofta in Sweden [20, 19].

At that time, Franklin was interned in Sweden (Sweden being formally neutral). Internment is not prison, so the Swedish air force asked him on 1944-10-07 to fly the Mustang (Some Joke) from F 5 to Stockholm [16].

After the takeoff from F 5, Talcott decided to give an unsanctioned and advanced airshow. Persons on ground had to throw themselves on ground to not getting flown into. The Mustang collided with a tree top and crashed into an educational building. Talcott was killed immediately. In the process of crashing, the elevator mass balance came loose, and flew into one of the baracks [21]. The mass balance hit the bed where a swedish airman (Nils Holm) had just been resting.

According to [16] the other plane Hot Pants was subsequently purchased by the Swedish air force, and became J 26 number 26002.


[1] “Grave of 1Lt. Franklin D. Talcott.”

[2] “Franklin D Talcott in the 1940 Census.”

[3] “Grave of Frances Day Talcott.”

[4] “Lieutenant Franklin D Talcott.”

[5] “Fowlmere Airfield.”

[6] “339th Fighter Group,” 2023.

[7] “503rd Fighter Squadron.”

[12] “First Lieutenant Wilson Kirby Baker Jr.”

[13] “Second Lieutenant Richard O Rabb.”

[14] “ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 95048.”

[15] J. Sykes, C. Baldridge, and J. Frederiksen, “A day in the life of a ’Little Friend.’”

[16] S. Stridsberg, Flyget i Ljungbyhed 1926-1996: Krigsflygskolan 70 år, no. ISSN: 0345-3413. Krigsflygkolan and Svensk Flyghistorisk Förening, 1996.

[17] “ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 95046.”

[18] “ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 95039.”

[19] “ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 95049.”

[21] “ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 95041.”