Fredric Arnold, 91, is the last surviving member of his original P-38 fighter group. He served with the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, based at Chateau dun du Rommel, Algeria and Mateur, Tunisia March through July 1943. He completed 50 combat mission in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy; dive boming, bomber escort, strafing, and the destruction of enemy shipping and aircraft. His call sign was Doorknob Five Two.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf clusters. On his return from combat, he test flew America's first jet, designed and developed power steering for aircraft, and was promoted to the rank of Major at the age of twenty-three.

In 1981 Fredric Arnold published the autobiographical novel "Doorknob Five Two" based on his experiences in World War II. Due to the book's success and inquiries from fans, Fredric Arnold has posted an open letter to address questions regarding which elements of the novel are factual, as well as which details were modified and to what purpose.

The letter is available here.



is an autobiographical novel about the coming of age of a young man as seen against the backdrop of World War II. With unusual emotional power and artistic sensibility, Fredric Arnold renders an extraordinary account of his experiences as a fighter pilot in combat, recording events with the authenticity of an eye witness


This unabridged limited edition Audio Book is a living piece of World War II history. Fredric Arnold recorded this Audio Book of 9-1/2 hrs in 10 CDs with the same emotional intensity of his published book. This may be the only book written and recorded by a World War II fighter pilot.



Produced/Directed/ Edited by
Aaron Weisblatt

This DVD documentary tells Arnold's personal story through interviews, archival footage and stylized readings from his best selling novel. The film leads towards a final emotional tribute to those men, with whom he regards as being responsible for his successful life.

  combat cartoons


Original watercolors by Fredric Arnold depicting humorous and realistic events from his career as a fighter pilot.

This site is designed and maintained by Fredric Arnold's grandson, Max Schwartz. All original images and content copyrighted, please do not use or duplicate without written consent.