John F. McAlevey served with distinction during WWII in the European Theater of
Operations and during the Occupation of Germany. He piloted  P-51 Mustang
fighter  in escort of the heavy bombers participating in the air war over Europe,
and Germany in particular.

During1942-46, he served in the Eighth Air Force, European Theater Operations, 359th
Fighter Group, E. Wretham, England. John rose to the rank of Captain USAAF. He
received the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.
John F. McAlevey’s distinctions during this period include being the wingman for ETO
Ace Raymond Wetmore, flying a P-51D Mustang that he named “Skeeter’s Scooter,”
which has been memorialized in scale model airplane kits and in digital flight simulation
programs to this day.

Honored by public enrollment in the Registry of Remembrances,
National WWII Memorial, Washington, D.C.




359th FIGHTER GROUP (Cum Leone)
370th Fighter Squadron (Red Cross)
Air Fields:

Avon Park Florida:     Primary Training
Dothan, Alabama:     Basic Training
Napier Field, Georgia:  Advanced Flying School
Eglin Field, Florida:    Advanced Gunnery
Venice, Florida:     Replacement Training Unit
AF Station 133, East Wretham, U.K. 359th Fighter Group
Kassel, Germany:     10th Air Depot Group
Mitchell Field, New York:     Air Force Reserve


Stearman PT-17
Vultee B-13
North American AT-6 A/B/C Texan
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk
North American P-51D Mustang
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
Piper V-3
Beechcraft AT-11

Logged Flight Time:
+/- 1300 hours as of 12 February 1946


John F McAlevey flight suit and parachute

John F McAlevery flight suit portrait

(then) Aviation Cadet John F. McAlevey
in flight gear with parachute
Pre-Operational 359th F.G. file photo

John F. McAlevery sitting back

Back porch of Wretham Hall (359th pilots quarters)

March 1971, pp. 26-27, 32

By John F. McAlevey

Editor’s note:

This episode is also mentioned in Capt. Wetmore’s Wikipedia article:




Raymond S. Wetmore
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Raymond S. Wetmore (30 September 1923 - 14 February 1951) was a leading
U.S. Army ace of World War II.

Born in Kerman, California, Wetmore enlisted in the Army in November 1941 at
age 18 and entered pilot training eight months later. Upon commissioning in
March 1943 he joined the new 359th Fighter Group which was sent to England in
October that year. Flying with the 370th Fighter Squadron, in February and
March 1944 Wetmore scored his first 4.25 victories flying the Republic
P-47 Thunderbolt. Upon conversion to P-51 Mustangs the group ranged farther
afield and Wetmore became a 20-year-old ace with a double victory on May 19,
downing two Me-109s. At month's end his tally was 8.25. At year's end he was a
captain with nearly 15 kills, flying a Mustang named Daddy's Girl.

During World War II, Wetmore had a funny story during the Battle of the Bulge.
Wetmore and his wingman, Lieutenant John F. McAlevey, were sent to the
Battle of the Bulge. American gunners on the ground were told to shoot at
anything they heard. The problem was, it was extremely cloudy, so American
gunners shot at their own planes as well as German planes. As Wetmore was
flying, incendiary ground fire hit his wing and his wing lit on fire,
but Wetmore didn't notice. His wingman, McAlevey, shouted "Smack, this is
'the Bum', you have been hit, you are burning under your left wing"

McAlevey, who had not been hit, landed his plane elsewhere in France, refueled and
returned to England late that evening.

Upon return from leave in the U.S., then-Captain Wetmore scored steadily from
November 1944 to January 1945. In that period he downed 12 more enemy
fighters including 4.5 FW-190s on January 14th. His final victory was a rocket powered
Me-163 on March 15. His final score was 21.25 destroyed and one
damaged in aerial combat, highest score in the 359th Group and eighth best of
all Americans in the European Theater. On VE-Day he was a 21-year-old major.

As a major, Wetmore commanded the 59th Fighter Squadron at Otis Air Force
Base, Massachusetts. There he was killed in the crash of an F-86 Sabre on
Valentine's Day 1951. He was 27 years old, leaving a widow and four children.
Wetmore's decorations included two Distinguished Service Crosses, two Silver
Stars, six Distinguished Flying Crosses and a dozen Air Medals.


* Dr. Frank Olynyk (1995. Stars & Bars: A Tribute to the American
   Fighter Ace 1920-1973. Grub Street, London.

External links


Retrieved from ""

Categories: American World War II flying aces | United States Air Force
officers | Recipients of US Distinguished Flying Cross | Recipients of the
Silver Star medal | Recipients of US Distinguished Service Cross |
American military personnel of World War II.

Editor’s note:
Ace Wetmore died tragically in a fiery crash in Cape Cod only 6 years after the events at
Remagen Bridge. His young wingman, McAlevey, flew civil aviation for many years
and walked away from a crash of an AutoGyro onto a landfill in Rockland county, NY.
and a crash landing on the east slope of Hunter Mountain in Ulster Country, N.Y.
John is an honorary Life Member of the radio-controlled model airplane club in Essex County, NY.


For more information about John F. McAlevey and his
WWII fighter pilot experience take this link to Skeeter's Scooter