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Note:  There were at least 9 P-47s assigned to Capt J.C. Van Bloom during the period May 1944 to June 1945 which carried the name "Bloom's Tomb" and corresponding nose art.  The complete chronology, as reconstructed by Stanley Wyglendowski and other 406th FG members is listed on the 406th Fighter Group WWII Memorial Association's website at

I have carefully studied that chronology and other available information and offer the slightly modified version, which primarily differs in suggesting that the aircraft Lt Ike Dorsey belly-landed on the front lines on 10 Sep 1944 was Bloom's Tomb IV, not Bloom's Tomb III.  The color page sequence on this website follows my speculative chronology which is as follows:

Chronology of Bloom's Tombs

Numbers I to IX

1. 5 April 1944 406th Fighter group arrives at ALG 417, near Ashford, England
2. 9 May 1944 406th's first Operational Mission over France.
3. 8 June 1944 Lt. Hall made belly landing in "BLOOM'S TOMB" No. "I". Hydraulic system on left wheel failed. Pilot uninjured.
4. 29 June 1944 1st Lt L.C. Beck, flying P47D 42-8473, MIA. Beck crash landed in enemy territory in France, and was sheltered by members of the French Underground. The plane he was flying that day was "BLOOM' S TOMB II".
5. 30 June -
9 Sept 1944
We have no information written or pictorial about "BLOOM' S TOMB III".  However, all "BLOOM' S TOMBs" had a reputation for bad luck, so if one of them lasted in active flying for 3 months, someone would have commented about it, would have noted that the unlucky streak was broken.  So I suspect one of the many aircraft lost by the 514th during this time period was "BLOOM' S TOMB III".  Also, as one of the higher-raking officers in the 514th, Capt Van Bloom would have probably gotten one of the new bubble-canopy P-47s assigned to him by September.  So, either by loss or re-assignment, I'll bet a razorback "BLOOM' S TOMB III" was replaced by a bubble-canopied "BLOOM' S TOMB IV".
6. 10 Sept 1944 Lt. Dorsey flying "BLOOM'S TOMB (probably No. IV), hit by flak and had to make a belly landing on "Front Line" between Americans and Germans, at Louisville, France. Pilot rescued by an American Infantry Non-Com. Returned to Squadron two days later.  By the logic above, I believe "BLOOM' S TOMB IV" had a bubble canopy.
7. 11 Sept 1944 -21 Oct 1944 We have no information written or pictorial about "BLOOM' S TOMB V".
8. 22 Oct 1944 Capt. Lewin-Epstein, flying "R" a P-47D-28 44-19747, on strafing mission of Marshalling Yard, hit steel pole and tore off 4 feet 8 inches of left wing. Made VERY HOT landing at A-80, Mourmelon, France. Pilot O.K., ship dropped off to Sub-Depot. A photo in S/Sgt E. C. Matzel's collection of plane showing damaged wing has notation on back of photo indicating this was "BLOOM'S TOMB VI".
9. 2 Dec 1944 Maj Kelly and Capt Van Bloom leave for States, for 30 day Leave.
10. 17 Dec 1944 Lt. Don Dorman, flying "S", a P47D-28 44-20081 which Dorman is positive carried the name "BLOOM'S TOMB", hit by flak; pilot bailed out. Captured by German troops and became POW. If plane was "BLOOM'S TOMB", it was No. VII.
11. 30 Dec 1944 Lt. Pittala, flying "R" a P47D-28 44-19747, MIA. According to eyewitness report of Col. G.I. Ruddell, who was leading that flight, Lt Pittala was KIA. So Bloom's Tomb VI got a new wing at the Sub-Depot and since Capt Van Bloom was in the states it was likely issued to another pilot.
12. 11 Feb 1945 Gained new ship, P47D-30 44-33182 "R". Van Graffeiland's Operational Log showed no further record of that plane, so it could have been assigned to someone else.
13. 13 Feb 1945 Maj Kelly and Capt Van Bloom rejoin Sqdn.
14. 15 Feb 1945 Gained new ship P47D-30 44-33087 "R". This happened at Asch, Belgium, and according to photos and written records, this was "BLOOM'S TOMB VIII". Crew Chief, John Orr; Armorer, J.Richard Bulford; Assistant Crew Chief, Sgt. Glen Pendelton.
15. Probably after 5 June 1945 Have no idea when or why "BLOOM'S TOMB IX" P47D-30 44-33353 was assigned to the 514th and to Capt Van Bloom.