Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9

Flown by Feldwebel Wolfgang Polster, 11./JG 26, Plantlünne/Germany, February 24, 1945.


Hawker Tempest Mk V

Flown by Squadron Leader David "Foob" Fairbank, 274th Squadron, B.80 Volkel/Netherlands, February 24, 1945.

On this day, 24th of February one of "old hares" Feldwebel Wolfgang Polster of the 11th Staffel, was strafed by Tempests from No. 274 Squadron after he landed at Plantlünne airfield. The III./JG 26 was in a intense training period and Polster had been preoccupied with instructing his wingman during the landing, and had not seen the approaching enemy fighters. He was to be S/L David "Foob" Fairbanks 11th victim.

Wounded in the attack Wolfgang Polster´s war was over, acknowledged as an accomplished flyer, credited with five kills during his 108 combat sorties. Polster also was recognized by his fellow pilots to be the individual who always did his duty during this difficult period, flying more missions than any other pilot in the third Gruppe

David Fairbanks was born in USA. When finished his education at High School, he ran away from home to Canada and tried to join the RCAF. He finally succeeded to enlist early 1941. After training he was posted as a flight instructor. After a year he managed to be posted to the UK and the RAF, After advanced and operational training. He joined 501 Squadron as flight commander, he opened his account over the Normandy beaches by scoring a V1 flying bomb. After a spell first in 274 Squadron and later in the 3 Sqn flying Tempests he was transefferd back to the 274 Sqn as their new Squadron Leader.

After his comeback to the 274 Sqn, Fairbanks manage to claim six Luftwaffe aircrafts in just two weeks time. The last of his official claims was the Fw 190 D-9 "Yellow 10" flown by Fw. Wolfgang Polster.

Fairbanks "the terror of Rheine" is the highest scoring Tempest ace with 11 confirmed kills in this type, although he was not credited with his last one (another Dora-9 from JG 26) on his final misson of the war (more of this story would follow next week).

Please note that there is not any known photos of Faibanks or Polder's machines, the profiles is therefore based on other machines from those units, blocks and the period of time.

© Claes Sundin 2015