Ace Clayton Gross Recalls The Craziest Friendly Fire Story You’ve Ever Heard
We’ve Heard And Seen Some Crazy Stuff, But This Takes The Cake!
Dr. Clayton Kelly Gross was just 20 years old when he joined as an Aviation Cadet in 1942. A short year later, he was already in the cockpit of a P-47 Thunderbolt fighting in the dangerous skies of the European Theater.
The following year, the 354th Fighter Group transitioned to P-51 Mustangs which was a crucial moment for Dr. Gross. The plane just fit him better than the Thunderbolt and within the same year he was credited with 5 aerial kills, earning him the status of an ace. By the end of the war, he’d rack up three and a half more including an Me 262, although that was never counted towards his final score.
“I waved my wing, and a guy pulls up beside me and goes, ‘ohhhhh, what have I done!'”-Dr. Clayton Kelly Gross, WWII ace fighter pilot.
As you can imagine, such a determined pilot received a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Distinguished Units Citation by the end of the war. He was great and gifted but got extremely lucky during one of the 105 combat missions he flew.
As he was closing in to shoot down a German Bf 109 as he was known to do, his “world exploded around (him)” as he put it. Feeling the back of his neck, he felt a protrusion in the back of his seat. It was a 50 cal. round fired from a friendly P-47!
Watch the video to see what happened next. Gross also throws in a couple other stories that you’re sure to remember.