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

                               Billings Bombing Flight Over Japan                            HOME   

Milford Daily News