North American P-51 Mustang

wip1

1. The P-51D template. Freshly out of the factory…


US, P-51C-10-NT, 42-103645, CAF, Tuskegee Airmen

2. This P-51C is owned by the Commemorative Air Force. It is used by the Red Tail Project to tell the story of the Tuskegee airmen. Please visit their website for more information.


UK, Mustang Mk I, AG636, XV-F, No 2 Squadron, mid-1942

3. AG636 was a Mustang Mk I that served with No 2 Squadron in the RAF in 1942.


US, P-51B-7-NA, 43-6913, Shangri-La, Don Gentile, 336 FS, 4 FG

4. Don Gentile was one of the first Mustang aces, and flew this P-51B-7-NA called “Shangri-La”. This is the aircraft he crashed while performing stunts in front of a group of reporters.

US, P-51B-7-NA, 43-6913, Shangri-La, Don Gentile, 336 FS, 4 FG -detail


France, P-51D-10-NA, 44-14717, GR II-33, Aix-les-Bains

5. France used the Mustang for reconnaissance duties. This heavily weathered P-51D-10-NA belonged to the Groupe de Reconnaissance II/33 “Savoie” and was baptized “Aix-les-Bains”.


US, P-51D-15-NA, 44-15041, Petie 3rd, John C. Meyer, 487 FS, 352 FG

6. At first light on January 1,1945, John C. Meyer took off from Asch airfield in Belgium, leading the 352nd Fighter Group from his P-51D-15-NA “Petie 3rd”. He was convinced the Germans would launch a surprise attack on this day against Allied advanced bases. He was right, and the group was barely airborne when the first German fighter-bombers arrived over their base. They were able to intercept and inflicted severe losses on the German.


Philippines, P-51D-30-NA, 44-74627, Shark of Zambales, 3733 or 001

7. The Philippines were another Mustang operator. This aircraft, a P-51D-30-NA called “Shark of Zambales”, was probably the most colourful Mustang in PhAF service.


Korea, P-51D-30-NA, 44-74962, Col. Dean Hess, Bout One, 1950

8. Mustangs saw extensive combat service during the Korean War, bearing the colours of several nations including South Korea. Project Bout One was created to form the nucleus of the Republic of Korea Air Force. This P-51D-30-NA was one of the first Korean Mustangs, and was flown by Col. Dean Hess, head of the project.


US, P-51D-5-NA, 44-13693, Angel's Playmate, Capt Bruce Carr, 353 FS, 354 FG

9. “On my first long-range mission, we just kept climbing, and I’d never had an airplane above about 10,000 feet before. Then we were at 30,000 feet and I couldn’t believe it! I’d gone to church as a kid, and I knew that’s where the angels were and that’s when I named my airplane ‘Angels Playmate.”

Bruce Carr ended the war with 15 victories, but his most impressive feat was when he was shot down during a mission and returned to his base flying a stolen Fw 190 fighter. This is his P-51D-5-NA “Angels’ Playmate”.

 


US, P-51D-20-NA, 44-72218, Big Beautiful Doll, Lt.Col. John D. Landers, 78 FG, 84 FS

10. Lt.Col. John D. Landers was the commanding officer of the 78th Fighter Group and flew one of the most lavishly decorated P-51 Mustangs in the ETO. “Big Beautiful Doll” was a P-51D-20-NA.

Leave a Reply