North American P-51 Mustang
WORLD WAR II
One of the 25 airplanes that won it
still flying 70 years after victory.
AIR&SPACE Smithsonian, May 2015
The P-51 was designed as the NA-73 in 1940 at Britain's request. The design showed promise and AAF purchases of Allison-powered Mustangs began in 1941 primarily for photo recon and ground support use due to its limited high-altitude performance. But in 1942, tests of P-51s using the British Rolls-Royce "Merlin" engine revealed much improved speed and service ceiling, and in Dec. 1943, Merlin-powered P-51Bs first entered combat over Europe. Providing high-altitude escort to
B-24s, they scored heavily over German interceptors and by war's end, P-51s had destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft in the air, more than any other fighter in Europe.
For More Information about the 8th Air Force in Europe ~Click Here~
Mustangs served in nearly every combat zone, including the Pacific where they escorted B-29s to Japan from Iwo Jima. Between 1941-5, the AAF ordered 14,855 Mustangs (including
A-36A dive bomber and F-6 photo recon versions), of which 7,956 were P-51Ds. During the Korean Conflict, P-51Ds were used primarily for close support of ground forces until withdrawn from combat in 1953.
Span: 37 ft. 0 in.
Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
Height: 13 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 12,100 lbs. max.
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns and ten 5 in. rockets or 2,000 lbs. of bombs.
Engine: Packard built Rolls-Royce "Merlin" V-1650 of 1,695 hp.
Maximum speed: 437 mph.
Cruising speed: 275 mph.
Range: 1,000 miles
Service Ceiling: 41,900 ft.
This aircraft information is from the USAF Museum Archives.
The Museum has a P-51D in the Air Power Gallery.
William Overstreet Jr., a former captain in the U.S. Air Corps, passed away March 30, 2014 at a hospital in Roanoke, Va. Bill flew his P-51C beneath the Eiffel Tower in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, in pursuit of an ME-109 fleeing to excape.
Mr. Overstreet was 92.
Kudoes to Tony Trapp for this heads up.
General Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr., leader of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and the first African American general in the Air Force, died July 4, 2002 at Walter reed Army Medical Center. Hew was 89 and had Alzheimer's disease.
At the time he entered West Point, Davis was the son of one of only two black combat officers in the Army. The younger Davis persevered through four years at the US Military Academy, where no cadet spoke to him other than on official business, and graduated 35th in his class in 1936. He wanted to fly, but segregation was a barrier. There were no black flying units in the air service.
He commanded a black service company at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and then taught military science at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. During this time, as a re-election initiative, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Army to create a black flying unit.
Davis, as the only living black West Point graduate, was selected to lead the unit. In May 1941 he entered advanced flying training at nearby Tuskegee Army Air Base, receiving his pilots wings in March 1942.
He led the 99th Pursuit Squadron from Tuskegee to North Africa in April 1943 and later to Sicily. After three months in combat, Davis was called to Washington to defend the 99th against charges that black pilots did not have the proper reflexes to be fighter pilots. Davis's testimony saved the 99th and the other black flying units being formed.
He took charge of the 332nd Fighter Group, leading it to Italy in January 1944. Throughout the war, the Tuskegee Airmen established a dazzling record of victories against superior german aircraft. When they flew escort duty, not one bomber they escorted on some 200 missions was lost to and enemy fighter.
In December 1998, Davis was awarded a fourth star in an exceedingly rare post-retirement promotion. He was only the third Air Force pioneer to receive such an honor. The other two were Ira C. Eaker and Jimmy Doolittle.
--Air Force Magazine, August 2002
"This past March saw the passing of one of the greatest warbird enthusiasts who ever lived, Bill Yoak. Books could be written on his life's accomplishments, but perhaps this legacy is best remembered for the magnificent restoration of his P-51, Quick Silver. ... Yoak painted his to honor and celebrate our armed forces--past, present and future. A full explanation can be found on this great web site."
--Excerpted from comments by Scott Slocum, in PLANE@PILOT, May 2013
I am a guy from Belgium and I am doing some research about Cyrill W. Jones.
He was a P-51 pilot of the 359th Fighter Group.
On August 16, 1944 he was the second pilot in the 8th USAAF to shot down a Me-163 "Komet".
He was KIA on September 12, 1944 on the SE of Meiningen, Germany.
He was flying a P51 Dora Dee (CS-W).
Is he buried at the Lorraine cemetary, France ?
Do he have some family members left in the United States?
It would be great to obtain more information and some pictures about this pilot!
- North American P-51 Mustang.
- An A-36a from the USAF Aviation Museum.
- A P-51D from the USAF Aviation Museum.
- "LOU Iv" from Bart's Airplane Page.
- "Ch... Youre-Faded" from Bart's Airplane Page.
- "Tika IV" from Bart's Airplane Page.
- "Cooter" leading a flight from Bart's Airplane Page.
- "Sky Bouncer" peeling off from Bart's Airplane Page.
P-51 Merlin Flyby
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