Somewhere along the great Russian fighting front there flies today a cannon-
carrying Airacobra proudly carrying the name of "The Hopedale Avenger," as
it deals out death and destruction to the retreating Nazi hordes, according to
word received by the Bell Aircraft Corp., manufacturer of the 'Cobra.
This hard-hitting American fighter plane was named in honor of the home
town of Maj. Robinson Billings, chief test pilot and assistant operations
officer, in charge of P-39 deliveries at an airdrome where these speedy craft
are turned over to the Russians to be flown to the eastern front.
Maj. Billings often flies the 'Cobras in test hops himself and because of
his sparkling disposition and untiring energy in getting the badly needed
planes through, he has made many good friends among the Russian
officers and pilots accepting delivery of the P-39s.
When Col. A.N. Kotikov, Red Star Air Force representative learned that Maj.
Billings came from Hopedale, he authorized one of the Russian planes to be
christened "The Hopedale Avenger," in honor of Maj. Billings, the members
of the armed forces from Hopedale who have given their lives to the cause,
and to the people of Hopedale who are buying war bonds to help bring the
efforts of the United Nations to a speedy conclusion.
It is hoped that the battle deeds of "The Hopedale Avenger" will become
known because the Russian combat pilot who eventually flies this 'Cobra
against the enemy has been asked to write to Maj. Billings and inform him of
the record of his home town's namesake.
Maj. Billings is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Billings, 94 Dutcher Street,
Hopedale. He served at Gore Field, Great Falls, Montana, and is attached to
the 7th Ferrying Command. Milford Daily News
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