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Mustang News: Jersey fighter pilot's forever an ace, as Czech museum display will attest

(The Star - Ledger, Thursday, September 11, 1997. Pg. 14)


Synopsis: A New Jersyan, Francis R. Gerard, became an ace in 1944 when he shot down four (4) German fighters in just 12 minutes over Czechoslovakia. On the 53rd anniversary of the battle, a museum was opened to commemorate the battle with an exhibit about Gerard's heroic feet. In the battle, 14 Mustangs were they nly escorts for a large group of B-17 bombers, and they had to defend it from a large group of German fighters. They succesfully beat back the Germans, taking down 15 while only losing 14 Bombers. No Mustangs were lost. The Museum, which has been a decade-long effort for the people of the village of Kovarska, not far from Prague, will contain Memoribilia, plane debris, pilot histories, and individual accounts of the battle. "I'll be returning with a great sense of pride." Said Gerard about the trip. In his career, Gerard shot down eight (8) German planes and flew 90 missions.