North American P-51D Mustang

Easily the best known American fighter of the War, the Mustang was a capable, long-range escort fighter.  And the “D” model is the best known variant of this well known aircraft.

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Let’s look at a colorful example from the 8th Air Force.

The Mustang is one of those designs where they got just about everything right.  Even the earliest versions were capable aircraft, their main shortcoming being an Alison engine that was lacking in performance at higher altitudes.  The famous British Merlin engine was just entering production in the US via the Packard Company, so it seemed an obvious fit to mount that outstanding engine on an already promising airframe.  And the Mustang’s greatest shortcoming was quickly solved…

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Mustangs gained their greatest fame escorting the heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force deep into Germany.  Late in the war, that Air Force had grown to enormous size, and could routinely put up over a thousand bombers protected by over a thousand fighters.

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“The Millie G” was flown by Maj. Ed Giller of the 55th Fighter Group.  The green and yellow checkers on the nose; and the olive drab rear fuselage are typical group markings for late 1944.  The Olive Drab was discontinued in 1945.  The yellow rudder and red line separating the bare metal from the OD green on the fuselage were used by the 343 Fighter Squadron.  The real “Millie G” was Maj. Giller’s wife.

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This is the Tamiya kit.

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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-51D Mustang

  1. Theresa says:

    Great plane very maneuverable ,

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I think it was Bud Anderson (357th Fighter Group) who made the comment “everything the Spitfire can do for 45 minutes the Mustang can do for eight hours”. Some exaggeration there (the Mustang couldn’t really operate at full performance for that long!), but it sort of highlights the main point!

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    This came up in your banner and I realized I did a 1/35th scale build of the exact same plane.

  3. Pingback: North American P-51B Mustang | Plane Dave

  4. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Sorry for liking your posts so much Dave.

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