Assigned to the 27th's 552nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 1st Lt. Michael T. Russo from Cleveland, Ohio... scored his first victory in the dive bomber version of the Mustang on 13 September 1943, scored another in October and a third on 8 December, enroute to Ferentino, Italy to bomb a railroad station. Russo's flight was attacked by 16 Me-109s. Russo tagged onto a '109 as it dove past and, firing a long burst into the plane, watched it spin into the ground. Warned of a second Messerschmidt diving on him from behind, he racked his Mustang around and blew his attacker out of the sky. His fifth victory made him the first Mustang ace and the only A-36 ace in World War II.