P-51D Mustang

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Military History


To view photographs of the WHF P-51D Mustang from it's military and civilian history, click the button at right.

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range single-seat World War II fighter aircraft. Designed and built in just 117 days to a specification issued to NAA by the British Purchasing Commission, the Mustang first flew in Royal Air Force (RAF) service as a fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft before conversion to a bomber escort, employed in raids over Germany, helping ensure Allied air superiority from early 1944. The P-51 was in service with Allied air forces in Europe and also saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War.

At the start of Korean War the Mustang was the United Nations' main fighter but the role was quickly shouldered by jet fighters, including the F-86, after which the Mustang became a specialised ground-attack fighter-bomber. In spite of being superseded by jet fighters the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s.

As well as being economical to produce, the Mustang was a fast, well-made, and highly durable aircraft. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650, a two-stage two-speed supercharged version of the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, and was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns.

For more information on the P-51 Mustang from the free 'Wikipedia' click here

The Foundation P-51D aircraft is currently painted in the markings of Capt. Herbert G. Kolb's P-51D "Baby Duck". Captain Kolb was a West Point graduate who was credited with 14.5 ground kills while serving in the U.S. Army 8th Air Force, 353rd Fighter Group, 350th Fighter Squadron, based at Raydon, England in 1944-45. Five of these kills were attained while flying the original "Baby Duck" aircraft, which was lost in action later in World War II.



P-51D-25-NA - Constr #: 122-31945 - Serial No: 44-72086 (U.S. Army Air Force)

The known history of this aircraft is listed below.

Date Squadron Location
1944 Aug 23 Manufactured Inglewood, CA
1945 Jan 20   Delivered to USAAF 8th AF
This aircraft was one of the first 12 new replacement Mustangs included
in an initial order of 46 P-51D aircraft destined for the Royal
Swedish Air Force.
Assigned to 1409th Army Air Force Base Unit (AAFBU).
Based at Station 366 Air Transport Command European Depot Air Base
    Metfield (near Norich), Suffolk, England.
Under "Project Speedy", this unit was entrusted with the logistics
associated with the first delivery of P-51Ds to the Swedish Government
in March 1945.
1945 Apr 10   Delivered to the Royal Swedish Air Force or "Flygvapnet".
Designated as aircraft #26009.
Assigned to the F16 Wing.
The aircraft was named "Elvira" (L) and painted with the cartoon figure
    of "Panchito" (L) and coded Red "E".
1953 May 20   Delivered to the Dominican Republic Air Force or
"Fuerza Aerea Dominicana" (FAD).
Designated as aircraft #1936.
Initially assigned to Escuadron Caza Ramfis.
Primarily based at the San Isidro airbase.
Later Assigned to Escuadron De Combate.
1964 - 1965   Refurbished by Trans-Florida Aviation, Inc. at their Sarasota, FL
facility. One of ~27 P-51Ds refurbished.
1968 Jul   As part of the U.S. Military Assistance Program (MAP)
and "Project Peace Hawk", a general overhaul and IRAN (Inspect
and Repair as Necessary) was conducted by a Field Team of the
Cavalier Aircraft Corporation, performed at San Isidro airbase.
1968 Nov 21   Suffered extensive damage as the result of a forced landing.
While undergoing a protracted rebuild, the backseat area was fitted
with rudimentary instruments and controls.
1984   Prior to being removed from service, underwent an in-house IRAN program performed by the mechanics of the Grupo de Maintenamiento at the San Isidro airbase.
1984 May 19   Acquired by Johnson Aviation, Miami, FL (Brian O'Farrell)
1986 Apr   Registered as N789DH
1987   Acquired by Vintage Air, Yardley, PA (Joe E. Scogna)
        Assembled by Fort Wayne Air Service, Baer Field, IN.
        Flown as 415137 / Baby Duck / LH-R


Date Squadron Location
1994   Registered as N510JS
1996   In Storage
2008 Dec   Acquired by Mustang Historic Military Aircraft, LLC.
        Maintained and Operated by Warbird Heritage Foundation
        under a Bailment Agreement
                Restored to airworthy condition by Tab-Air, Inc.
                of East Troy, WI.
2011 Jul 8                   First Post-Restoration Flight
2012   Began airshow perfomances.
2012 May   Registered as N251PW

     *   Information in blue Copyright © 2002-2013 by J.L. Dienst and L. Hellstrom.

         Used here with prior permission.

         This information may not be reproduced, copied, distributed, published, modified,
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