North American P-51D Mustang

John C Meyer

The Mustang was flown by many famous aces, including Major John C. Meyer.

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After the jump, a look at one of his mounts.

The 352nd Fighter Group was proudly known as the “Blue Nose Bastards of Bodney” (their base in England).  With over 800 enemy aircraft destroyed they are ranked fourth among Eighth Air Force fighter groups.  Maj. Meyer was commander of the Group’s 487th Fighter Squadron from formation in the United States in October of 1942 until November 1944.  Then he was re-assigned to “group” until injured in January of 1945 and sent home.

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During his time in combat he scored 24 air-to-air kills, making him the group’s second ranked ace behind George Preddy with 27.  During the war, Eighth Air Force was counting ground kills too; so Maj Meyer, with 37, would have actually been considered the 352nd FG’s number one.

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He served two tours of duty and scored his first three kills in a Thunderbolt named “Lambie”. When the group switched to Mustangs he scored 11.5 more in “Lambie 2” before the end of his tour of duty.

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This is a slightly later picture of “Petie 2nd”, the name has been painted orange.

“Petie 3rd” with many more kills indicated.

Then Lt Col Meyer was married while stateside, and returned to action in a new Mustang, shown here, named “Petie 2nd”.  I’ve seen this referred to as his “married name”, I’m not sure if “Petie” is actually some reference to his wife or if that was just purely a joke.  This would Meyer’s most famous mount and it was the subject of much publicity and photography.  He apparently fussed some over the markings until the colors were just as he wanted them.  Ironically he never scored a kill in this airplane.  Perhaps it was bad luck for him?

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But the story goes; one night the plane was seriously damaged when it rammed by a drunken soldier in a Jeep.  His crew chief had the plane replaced with a newly christened “Petie 3rd” and had the markings pretty closely copied.  Lt Col Meyer never said a word about the switch, but it apparently got him out of his slump and he scored at least 11 of his remaining kills in that plane.

Many Fighter Groups, like the 352nd, started with Thunderbolts and later re-equipped with Mustangs.

Many Fighter Groups, like the 352nd, started with Thunderbolts and later re-equipped with Mustangs.

This is the Tamiya kit with Aeromaster decals.  I’ve built this kit several times and it is truly one of the best engineered kits ever made; it fits precisely and offers good detail.

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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. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Just beautiful Dave

  2. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Reblogged this on My Forgotten Hobby and commented:
    Be sure to zoom in to view how it’s beautifully done.

  3. jfwknifton says:

    A wonderful aircraft and beautifully made. I wonder if the good people of Bodney hold reunions in their little village every few years. I can just imagine the huge banner across the entrance to the village “Bodney welcomes the Blue Nosed Bastards”

    • atcDave says:

      It’s funny to me how some of the not quite “G” rated names and expressions are handled. I would bet there was an easier to publish version (maybe “Blue Nose Boys of Bodney”?) that was used for press and PR.
      But now we live in courser times, and nobody worries so much about these things. Although I would still only use the press version of SNAFU or FUBAR!

  4. Superb build Dave. Some may disagree, but not many I suspect – I believe that the P-51D was the finest piston-engined aircraft of WWII – yours is a fine example of a truly iconic aircraft. Thanks for the great post.

    • atcDave says:

      Thank you!

      I think, with qualifications, there are several claims on the title. But no doubt the Mustang is at or near the top of ANY WWII rankings.

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