Fittingly named for a wild horse, this fighter became widely recognized for its power and beauty. It was a key element in Allied air superiority in Europe during WWII, destroying 9,081 enemy aircraft, and with similar results in the Korean War. Striking photos and the personal stories of the men who flew it help to tell the story of this superior aircraft. Full color photos of restored P-51s. Revised and updated
First-Hand Accounts of P-51 Mustang Ops Over Nazi Europe
Author: Martin W. Bowman
Category: Fighter pilots
"P-51 Mustang combat missions brings to life what it was like to fly - and take into battle - one of the defining fighter aircraft of World War II. The tactics, violence, and tension of U.S. fighter missions in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) are revealed in exceptional drams and detail. More than seventy first-person accounts from P-51 Mustang pilots, including renowned aces. Detailed accounts of every type of P-51 operation, from bomber escorts over the Reich to hedge-skimming strafing runs over German airfields in occupied France. Authoritative explanations of the P-51's historical development and technical characteristics. More than 300 high-quality archive and memorabilia photos." -- p.4 of cover.
The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most successful and effective fighter aircraft of all time. It was initially produced in response to a 1940 RAF requirement for a fast, heavily-armed fighter able to operate effectively at altitudes in excess of 20,000ft. North America built the prototype in 117 days, and the aircraft, designated NA-73X, flew on 26 October 1940. The first of 320 production Mustang Is for the RAF flew on 1 May 1941, powered by a 1,100hp Allison V-1710-39 engine. RAF test pilots soon found that with this powerplant the aircraft did not perform well at high altitude, but that its low-level performance was excellent. It was when the Mustang airframe was married to a Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that the aircraft's true excellence became apparent. Possessing a greater combat radius than any other Allied single-engine fighter, it became synonymous with the Allied victory in the air. During the last eighteen months of the war in Europe, escorting bomber formations, it hounded the Luftwaffe to destruction in the very heart of Germany. In the Pacific, operating from advance bases, it ranged over the Japanese Home Islands, joining carrier-borne fighters such as the Grumman Hellcat to bring the Allies massive air superiority. Yet the Mustang came about almost by accident, a product of the Royal Air Force's urgent need for new combat aircraft in the dark days of 1940, when Britain, fighting for survival, turned to the United States for help in the island nation's darkest hour.
Even today, almost eighty years after its first flight, the North American P-51 Mustang remains one of the most famous and recognizable aircraft in the world. Nimble and fast, qualities that lead the Mustang to be used even today in air races, the aircraft was forged in battle. This, the second of two volumes on this iconic aircraft, explores the "bubbletop" versions that helped bring the war to the German and Japanese homelands. These Mustangs were widely used escorting Allied bombers deep into the enemy homeland. The story of this historic fighter is told through carefully researched archival photos, as well as photographs of preserved examples, illuminated through detailed captions, thereby illustrating not only the use of the late WWII Mustang, but also the details of its construction. Large, clear photos, coupled with descriptive and informative captions, put the reader on the airfield and in the sky with this historic aircraft.
The famed P-51 Mustang, one of the most recognizable aircrafts of the World War II era, is at the heart of this enthralling memoir. After making extreme modifications to a surplus P-51 dubbed “Miss America”—installing a race engine, adding an oversized propeller, and clipping two feet off each wing—retired Navy pilot Howie Keefe embarked on what proved to be an extremely successful air racing career. This entertaining biography chronicles how, just as the sport began to experience an explosive period of growth, Keefe was winning trophy after trophy in air races across the country.
Seventy-Five Years of America's Most Famous Warbird
Author: Cory Graff
Publisher: Zenith Press
From D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge, through reconnaissance missions and combat, fighting flying bombs and Me 262 Stormbird jets, P-51 Mustang pilots saw it all during World War II. P-51 Mustang celebrates the 75th anniversary of the most iconic American warbird written by Cory Graff, lead curator at the Flying Heritage Collection--one of the world's most important collections and sites for warbird restoration. The entire story of this plane is here, starting with the astonishing fact that the P-51 Mustang was built in less than 120 days. This first version was hardly a world-beater, and it took the addition of a Rolls-Royce-designed Merlin to make the Mustang a legend. These nimble and versatile fighters were able to escort Allied heavy bombers all the way to Berlin and back. In the Pacific, their long-range ability was pushed to its limit, with pilots flying 1,500-mile, eight-or-more-hour missions over water to attack Tokyo. On the home front, Graff profiles the impact manufacturing Mustangs had on workers in Los Angeles and Dallas. The United States wasn't finished with the P-51 Mustang after World War II. It was used in the Korean War and, afterwards, as a symbol and icon of American ingenuity.
Arguably two of the finest fighters built during the course of World War II, the Me 262 and P-51 Mustang heralded new dawns in aircraft performance. Making its operational debut in the summer of 1944, and powered by the Jumo 004 jet engine, the Me 262 outclassed Allied planes in terms of speed and firepower ratio, offering a formidable punch with four 30 mm MK 108 nose-mounted cannons. However, in the P-51, fitted with the Rolls-Royce (Packard) Merlin engine and drop tanks, the USAAF finally had a fighter that had the 'legs' to escort its heavy bombers deep into Reich airspace and back. If flown to its strengths, the P-51 was more than capable of taking on the feared Me 262 on an equal footing, despite the differences in power and top speed. Indeed, the Mustang proved to be the Luftwaffe fighter arm's nemesis. When the P-51D sortied over Germany from the summer of 1944 onwards, it shredded through the ill-trained and depleted Gruppen of the Luftwaffe's defence wings. This book examines the two fighters in detail, exploring their history and development and containing accurate descriptions of the combats between the P-51 Mustang and the Me 262 in what were some of the most bitter and large-scale aerial actions fought over Europe in 1944–45.
MUSTANG ACE Memoirs of a P-51 Fighter Pilot by Robert J. Goebel When Robert Goebel left home to join the Army Air Corps in 1942, he was a 19 years old and a high-school graduate. The only previous time he had traveled far from his native Racine, Wisconsin, was an epic trip in the summer of 1940, when he and a pal had ridden the rails to Texas and back to visit two of Bob's brothers who were in the service. Even during his weeks in Pre-flight training, young Goebel found that he felt at home in the service, and he looked forward to the great adventure on which he had embarked out of a sense of patriotism and yearning to see the wide world. Easygoing and quick to learn, Cadet Goebel worked his way steadily through the Basic, Primary, and Advanced phases of military flight training, and found in himself an aptitude for flight. However, like nearly all of his comrades, Goebel could not learn how to hit a flying target with the guns mounted on the trainers he flew. Nevertheless, he-and they-graduated to fighter school and, after earning their wings and commissions, were sent on to join an operational fighter unit - in Panama. The months of rigorous operational flying in Panama seasoned Lieutenant Goebel and his young companions, and made better aviators of them, but it did little to advance their gunnery skills. When a new crop of novices arrived, Goebel and his companions found themselves on their way to Europe to join the fight. They wound up in North Africa in the Spring of 1944 with orders to join the 31st Fighter Group in Italy. Just as Goebel and his young companions were about to join the leading fighter group in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, the 31st turned in its British-made Spitfire fighters for new P-51 Mustang fighters. Within weeks, Bob Goebel had flown his first combat missions and had lost his element leader, who was shot down in a swirling dogfight. But master the job he did. A steady succession of bomber-escort missions over southeastern Europe slowly and then more rapidly forced Lieutenant Goebel to settle in and master aerial gunnery and the mentally taxing high-speed dogfights in which he became engaged. At last, he shot down his first German fighter. And he advanced to positions of leadership, in due course leading the entire 31st Fighter Group deep into enemy territory. At length, he shot down a fifth German and thus became an ace-a Mustang Ace. And then he shot down three Germans in one day on a mission to Ploesti, Rumania. He flew to Russia and back, and supported the invasion of southern France. In the end, by September 1944, he had eleven confirmed victories to his credit and was one of the 308th Fighter Squadron's most respected combat leaders. When he was sent home at the end of his combat tour, Captain Bob Goebel was not yet 22 years old.
While the introduction of the Merlin engine did improve the Mustang's performance and produce the bubble-canopied fighters with which we associate the name, credit must be given to the Allison-engined variants that preceded it. From its inception in early 1940, the Mustang's development was extraordinarily rapid – such was the need for a fighter at the time, and the confidence in its design. By early January 1942, the Mustang was in service with the RAF, flying low-level armed reconnaissance operations over Northern France. Despite later Merlin variants arriving in-theatre, this remained a hunting ground for the Allison Mustangs through to D-Day and beyond – a remarkable service length. In American hands the Allison-engined Mustangs performed as dive-bombers and fighters, serving with distinction in North Africa and the Far East.
Merriam Press World War 2 In Review Series. First eBook Edition 2017. Pictorial with concise history of the North American P-51 Mustang. The P-51 was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and other conflicts. From late 1943, P-51Bs (supplemented by P-51Ds from mid-1944) were used by the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF’s 2 TAF and the USAAF’s Ninth Air Force used the Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944. The P-51 was also in service with Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean and Italian theaters, and saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. This issue features a wide range of images of the P-51, from the first prototype through the P-51D model and beyond, in USAAF, RAF and other nations' service in all theaters. 501 B&W/color photos/illustrations.
Mustang Designer tells the story of American wartime fighter development, including engines and armaments, as part of a nationwide program of aircraft builders and fliers, focusing on Edgar Schmued, the designer of the Mustang. The P-51 Mustang is widely regarded as the best propeller-driven fighter that ever flew. What many might not realize is that the plane's developer was a German migrant. This book tells of how Schmued created a weapon that would ultimately prove lethal to the aspirations of those who had seized control over his native land.
The Mustang was the greatest godsend to the massive daylight bomber fleets that pounded Hitler's Reich during WW2. It was the first aircraft to have the range and ability to intercept and destroy German fighters that had previously decimated Allied attacks and caused the loss of many US aircrew members. Designed and built in the USA to a British specification, the early models were under-powered and it was not until the famous Merlin engine was installed that its full potential was realized. The type played a vital part in all wartime theatres and went on to serve with many air forces in post-war years. This is the perfect introductory book for the general reader, enthusiast and modeler alike wishing to find a succinct yet detailed introduction to the design and history of the Mustang.
During WWII the Mustang was to the Americans what the Spitfire was to the British-a symbol of hope and strength. The P-51 fought in almost every theatre of war, in various roles and with great success. When powered by the famed Merlin engine, the P-51 became the supreme long-range escort fighter and was able to fly with the bomber stream all the way to their targets and back to base. Today well over 100 Mustangs survive in airworthy condition, this total increasing year by year as airframes are lovingly restored and take to the skies again.
MUSTANG - Considered by many to be the best fighter aircraft of the Second World War.\nThis new book by aviation historian Larry Davis begins with Mustang production in early 1941 with the British Air Purchasing Committee order fro 320 aircraft in August 1940 with the first Mustang I, RAF serial AG 345, rolling off the Inglewood, California assembly line on 16 April 1941. The later P-51D is considered by many to be the ultimate Mustang and is covered here in its variety of markings and warfronts. The P-51H lightweight and the P-82 Twin Mustang are also covered in rare photos including color.