Texas Flying Legends
by Chuck Cravens
This month found us waiting for Lope’s Hope 3rd’s wings to be completed and shipped, so the crew spent most of their time on the P-47. That will make this a very brief update.
Radio Frequency Card:
However a few items were taken care of and we found an interesting image of a radio call card. The period that Captain Lopez was flying P-51Cs was in the fall of 1944. Specifically, he operated from Kweilin in early September, Chihkiang in late September and all of October, and finally in November, Chihkiang, Luliang, and Kunming. His last combat mission was November 11, 1944, as we mentioned in last month’s update.
As mentioned earlier, Captain Lopez flew his last combat missions on November 11, 1944; these were his 100th and 101st missions. The morning mission was also when his fifth and last combat victory occurred, making him an ace. He shot down a Nakajima Type KI-84 Hayate. Hayate means “gale” in Japanese, but this type was called a “Frank” by the Allies for reporting sightings and combat.