Donald Bryan

Army Air Force Mustang Ace

Donald Bryan

Artwork and Research by;

Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

There are 750 limited edition prints in this series. Print Size 12×18″

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Limited Edition Prints are signed and numbered by the Artist and by the Ace. $60.00

All signatures by both the Aviator and the Artist is done in soft graphic pencil.

Shipping $6.00 anywhere in the world.

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Poster Print $14.95

Poster prints are autographed by the artist only.


Donald with “Little One III”

Captain Donald S. Bryan

By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

Donald Bryan was born in Hollister, California on August 15, 1921. Like many other young men of that time Donald was drawn to flying. He earned a civil pilots license and wanted to continue flying but with the cost involved, he knew that the military would be his best option. Donald joined the Air Corp on January 6, 1942.

He graduated from flying school at Luke Field, Arizona in the class of 42G. He was then sent to the 79th Pursuit Squadron at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and was checked out in the P-40.

In March of 1943 he was sent to Mitchel Field, New York and was checked out in the P-47 and assigned to the 328th Fighter Squadron 352nd Fighter Group.

In July 1943 the group was deployed to England and stationed in Botney. Donald flew on the group’s first operational mission in September 1943.

Donald named his Thunderbolt after his fiancée, “Little One”. He claimed 4.5 aerial victories flying the Thunderbolt along with trains and other ground targets.


Donald in the Cockpit of his P-47. Bryan is watching his ground crewmen paint on his fourth German flag.

His group was then assigned new P-51B’s which Donald named his Mustang, “Little One II”.

On D-Day Donald was scheduled to fly cover but after take off his engine was acting up enough for him to return to the airfield. In the mean time his group left with out him. After Donald landed he jumped out of the cockpit and run up to the hanger to see what other aircraft was available for him to fly.

The only thing left at the moment was a Thunderbolt. Donald jumped in and started the engine and warmed it up. Too many minutes had passed for Donald to hope to catch up with his unit but he took off anyway. He found himself over an area where the C-47’s were towing and releasing gliders filled with troops and supplies. The C-47’s were also filled with paratroopers ready to jump at their up coming target. Suddenly Donald was looking at one of the C-47’s when he saw it hit by what must have been a hidden anti-aircraft gun. Donald told me that he watched in horror as the C-47 which was filled with troops nose down taking the glider also filled with men down to a horrible crash.

He quickly flashed his head all around looking for the enemy gun. As he was searching Donald saw another C-47 hit and crash along with its helpless glide in tow.

Donald said he became frantic. He had just watched almost 100 helpless men killed. Donald banked back and forth looking for the AA-gun when he finally found it from the blackish/gray puffs from the gun mussels. The gun was well hidden but in this process another C-47 was hit. Donald wheeled his Thunderbolt around and made a straight line towards the AA-gun. As Donald came into range he opened up on the camouflaged gun position. Mind you eight fifty-caliber machine guns can throw out a lot of aggression. Donald filled with rage made one pass after another until the whole area had been cleared of camouflage and foliage. There were no men manning that gun site after that barrage of metal rained on them.

Donald told me that he was mad and he wanted to strike back, and he did. He was in the right place at the right time to help.

Donald returned to the States and married his “Little One” and returned to his unit in early July, 1944. Upon Donald’s returned he was assigned a new P-51D-10 Mustang with “Little One III” on the cowling. Donald kept his “Little One III” highly polished and brilliant.

Donald’s group was transferred to Belgium and on the flight over he downed a Bf109. One of the pilots in his group called “enemy fighters from behind break now”. Donald wheeled around and there in his wind shield was a German fighter. Without even looking in his sights, Donald fired five or six rounds into the bottom of the Bf109. The Luftwaffe pilot bailed out as the airplanes passed each other.

At this time of the war German jets were making their appearance and Donald saw several but was not in position to attack. He even saw one of the German twin engine bombers and mistook it for a B-26. The enemy bomber was the Arado Ar-234. Two weeks later he saw another Arado twin-jet bomber and pulled in behind and before he could fire, the Arado simply pulled away.

Donald got another chance on December 21, 1944. During a bomber escort mission as one of the Arado bombers passed under their flight. Donald upon first sighting spun around and pursued the jet. He was able to fire and see one hit on the bomber but it raced away.


On March 14, 1945 Donald and his flight was returning to base from another bombing escort mission when another Arado crossed their path. Donald knew that his Mustang could out turn the bomber but not out run him. Donald would have to determine the jets flight path and try to cut him off.

Donald broke from the American bombers. The Luftwaffe jet bomber turned to the right. Don gunned his Mustang and tried to cut off the German jet. Donald was able to intercept the German but the jet pulled away. The bomber was heading for the American floating bridges on the Rhine River. The German made another right turn and started his run on the bridges in order to bomb them holding up the American advance. Donald flew to where he could intercept the jet after his bombing run.

The bomber passed over the bridges and pulled up. Donald lined up their intercepting paths. As the bomber passed under Donald, Don rolled over on his back to 90 degrees upside down and pulled behind the jet.

Before the jet could race away and while Don was still upside down he fired from 100 yards. Donald saw hits on both engines of the jet which started to smoke. The German slowed and Donald rolled out behind the jet and closed in for the kill. Behind Donald were a handful of Mustangs that wanted part of the German jet so Donald had to keep his Mustang in between the Arado and the pursuing Mustangs behind him. Donald followed the jet down firing into the stricken aircraft till it nose dived into the earth.

Donald was credited with 13.300 aerial victories with five in one mission becoming an ace in a day. He retired from the Air Force in November 1964. His received the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Medal with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters.


This is my painting of the profile of the Ar-234 jet bomber. This is the type Jet-Bomber Donald shot down. Donald was the first to shoot down this verity.


Donald Bryan and Artist Ernie Boyette

If you would like to purchase the original painting of the “Little One III” please contact us below. The original painting has been autographed by Donald. This painting is available for sale. It has been autographed by the Ace.


328th Fighter Group


Donald, ready for action!!


Blue Nose Mustangs on the flight line.

Below is actual gun camera footage of Donald in action!!!



Close up of a Fw-190.



Glad I wasn’t on this train!


Chasing after two 109’s.



An unfortunate Bf 109.


Setting a train on fire.


Donald is chasing the Ar. 234 which is banking hard right.

Closing in for the kill.


Here the Ar-234 is going down in flames!


Donald at his home in Adel, Georgia.