North American P-51B Mustang

FJ-1

But not that FJ-1…

My first project after a long break was a hypothetical.  What if the P-51 Mustang had found its way into the USMC?  Well for starters it would have been the FJ, and the Fury would have been the F2J.  After the jump, a little of my thought process on this hypothetical subject.

IMG_8032

The FJ-1 Mustang!

I’ve mentioned several times I’m really into strategy games.  A favorite of mine for many years was Gary Grigsby’s Pacific War.  A nice feature was the ability to equip air groups with a variety of aircraft in a similar category.  Meaning you could re-equip an allied fighter squadron with any allied fighter type you had sufficient quantities of.  Well Marine Fighter Squadrons have some unique advantages in a game that includes many tiny atoll and island bases; mainly, the squadrons themselves are the smallest air units available in the game, and therefore well suited for use at small air bases.  Gee guess what.  Its often handy to have a small squadron of long range fighters available at tiny, remote islands.  And thus the North American FJ-1 Mustang was born in my imagination. (I imagine a P-51D would be the FJ-2)

IMG_8033

Looks like that port aileron was replaced by a part from an Army Mustang.

Some guys prefer tail art over nose art.

Some guys prefer tail art over nose art.

The markings here actually belong to a Corsair from VMF-422 in the spring of 1944.  This would be a very late date for the red surround on the insignia to still be on a Pacific aircraft.  It was ordered to be over-painted with blue in August of 1943.  Aircraft in war zones are often slow to comply with markings directives, but any use of red was unpopular in the Pacific.  Many pilots feared that in a glimpse in high speed combat any red might be interpreted as a Japanese meatball. So without seeing an actual color photo I am doubtful this should be in red.  But it looks great this way, and if I’m doing a hypothetical anyway…

IMG_8037 IMG_8036 IMG_8035

I used the outstanding Tamiya kit (the RAF boxing) and PYN-up Decals.

She looks good in blue.

She looks good in blue.

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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8 Responses to North American P-51B Mustang

  1. Pingback: What’s in a Name – United States | Plane Dave

  2. What an awesome idea! I love your paint job!!!!

  3. Terry Brodin says:

    Any naval version of the Mustang is fun to look at; your earlier “B” version is a nice change from the usual “D” naval versions.

    Remeber seeing a model of a P-38 as a Navy version; radial engines and folded wings. Looked pretty good — and conceivable.
    You think the Navy was just a little biased towards inline engines?

    • atcDave says:

      I think the normal assumption is that the Navy wished to avoid the extra complexities of maintaining liquid cooled engines at sea. Kind of funny since the V-1710 was first designed for Navy airships. And I know they at least entertained the idea with the Airabonita.
      I know the merits of air vs liquid cooled were debated until jets made both types irrelevant. And it does make sense that the Navy just opted for simple.

      But this build I just imagined a very limited number of non-navalized Mustangs at a few select locations. Places where long range was a big asset. If memory serves, I was bombing the Marshalls from Wake (in PacWar), and a Corsair didn’t quite have the range I needed.

      I think I’ve seen that navalized P-38. It’s a very creative build!

  4. Terry Brodin says:

    Another model was a navalised P-47D. Not to much changed, except for folded wings and Navy paint job. Well, the Navy would have loved that big old radial and wide track landing gear.
    Kinda had the looks of a Sea Fury.

  5. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Partly related…
    My brother and I were addicted to war games in the late 60s.
    We still have those old Avalon Hill games, and lots of Strategy and Tactics games.

    • atcDave says:

      My first war gaming was on those Avalon Hill games. War At Sea and Victory in the Pacific were my favorites.

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