Noord-Amerikaanse P-51

Noord-Amerikaanse P-51


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Noord-Amerikaanse P-51

Die eerste USAAF-bestelling vir die P-51 was oorspronklik nie bedoel om vliegtuie vir Amerikaanse diens te verskaf nie. Toe dit op 7 Julie 1941 geplaas is, moes die twee Mustang Is wat aan die USAAF toegeken is, nog nie behoorlik geëvalueer word nie. In plaas daarvan was die bestelling vir 150 vliegtuie eintlik bedoel om na die RAF te gaan as deel van die Lend Lease -program. USAAF se belangstelling was destyds gesentreer op die A-36-grondaanvalweergawe van die vliegtuig.

Toe toetse onthul hoe goed die Mustang was, het die USAAF 57 van hierdie vliegtuie teruggehou. Twee is gebruik om die Merlin-aangedrewe P-51B te ontwikkel, terwyl die oorblywende 55 vliegtuie kameras gekry het, en gebruik in die taktiese verkenningsrol, onder die benaming F-6A. Die eerste Amerikaanse eenheid wat die P-51 vir aktiewe diens gebruik het, was die 154ste Observation Squadron, van basisse in Tunisië, in April 1943.

Die P-51 is aangedryf deur die Allison V-1710-39-enjin, en gewapen met vier kanonne van 20 mm, twee in elke vleuel.


Noord -Amerikaanse P -51 - Geskiedenis

Deur Kelly Bell

Darwin, Australië, was warm, al was dit middel van die winter. Op die middag van 12 Julie 1942 het vier nuut ontplooide vlieëniers van die 49th Fighter Group van die US Army Air Forces (USAAF) in die kajuit van hul Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk-enkelmotorjagters geklim en opgestyg vir 'n opleidingsmissie. Die jongelinge was 1ste Lt. J.B. "Jack" Donalson en 2de Lts. John Sauber, Richard Taylor en George Preddy, Jr.

Japannese lugaanvalle het die gebied onlangs geteister, en hierdie kwartet vlieëniers is versorg om iets daaraan te doen. Preddy en Taylor het afgeskil en die rol van keiserlike Japannese bomwerpers gespeel terwyl Donalson en Sauber hul onderskepvaardighede ingeoefen het deur dummy -aanvalle op hul kamerade te doen, maar iets het skeefgeloop. Die son het Sauber dalk verblind, of as 'n nuweling wat hy was, het hy eenvoudig die afstand tussen sy en Preddy se vliegtuie verkeerd beoordeel. Hy het te lank gewag om op te trek en het op 12 000 voet in die stert van Preddy vasgery en albei masjiene laat tuimel.

Preddy het op die laaste oomblik daarin geslaag om op borgtog uit te kom, maar Sauber se kajuit was blykbaar toe. Hy is op slag dood. Preddy se tuit het sekondes oopgebars voordat hy in 'n lang tandvleisboom afgekom het wat die valskerm versnipper het en deur die takke op die grond laat val het.

Maj. George Preddy, Jr.

Luitenant Clay Tice het toevallig in sy eie P-40 verbygegaan en die ongeluk gesien. Hy stuur sy koördinate na die nabygeleë vliegveld, en grondpersoneel Lucien Hubbard en Bill Irving spring in 'n vragmotor en jaag die ernstig beseerde Preddy te hulp. Die jong man het 'n gebreekte been en diep splete in sy skouer en heup gehad. Hy het gebloei toe die werktuigkundiges hom na die siekeboeg gehaas het. Na 'n lang sessie in die operasiesaal het die basischirurg berig dat indien nie vir die vinnige reaksie van sy kamerade nie, Preddy vinnig sou doodbloei. Dit sou nie die laaste keer wees dat hy deur sy eie kant se foute geviktimiseer word nie.

Na 'n lang herstel, is Preddy oorgeplaas na die 352ste Fighter Group, wat die voering van koningin Elizabeth op 5 Julie 1943 aan die Firth of Clyde van Skotland afgelewer het. Ondanks die feit dat hy nog groen was, was hy een van die mees ervare mans in die uitrusting. Feitlik al die ander vlieëniers was vars van die vlugskool, en die beskeie ervaring van Preddy was min, want hy moes sy werk met die P-40 vergeet en begin leer om die Republiek P-47 Thunderbolt-vegvliegtuig te vlieg. Nadat hy 'n volle jaar lank ontslae geraak het, was hy lus vir aksie en het hy reeds geweet wat hy sy nuwe oorlogsvliegtuig sou noem. Hy was 'n gewone dobbelaar en het geglo dat hy 'Cripes A' Mighty! ' het hom geluk gebring toe hy die dobbelsteen gooi. Hierdie kak spelkreet sou op elke masjien wat hy gevlieg het, geverf word.

Eerste oorwinnings vir Preddy

Die 352ste, wat aan die vliegveld van Bodney toegewys is, het die dekmantel begin vir ammunisie- en brandstoflose Thunderbolts van die 56ste en 353ste vegvliegtuiggroepe toe hulle terugkeer van begeleide missies. Dit het Preddy en sy maatjies min aksie gebied, maar die geallieerde strategiese bomaanval het net 'n ernstige en duur stadium bereik.

14 Oktober 1943 staan ​​steeds bekend as 'Swart Donderdag'. Dit was die dag toe Preddy onder 196 gefrustreerde Thunderbolt-vlieëniers was wie se byna leë brandstoftenks hulle gedwing het om terug te keer na Brittanje, net soos 'n swerm ervare, opportunistiese Luftwaffe-vlieëniers in die agtste lugmagbomwerperformasies in die rigting van die Schweinfurt-kogellagers werk. Die Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress en Gekonsolideerde B-24 Liberator-bomwerpers het soos sneeuvlokkies geval, wat dit duidelik maak dat die brandstoftoevoerende Thunderbolt nie geskik was as 'n langafstand-begeleier nie. Vir eers was dit egter die beste vliegtuig wat beskikbaar was.

Die herfs van 1943 was deurslaggewend in die lugoorlog oor Wes -Europa, terwyl die Geallieerdes vinniger bomwerpers oor die Derde Ryk in die lug probeer gooi het as wat die Duitsers hulle kon afskiet. Ten spyte van die hoë slagkoers teenoor die groot voëls, het die Luftwaffe egter ook baie gely. Op 1 Desember behaal Preddy sy eerste oorwinning toe hy 'n Duitse Messerschmitt Me-109-vegter vlamvat wat 'n bomwerper aanval wat terugkeer van 'n aanval op Solingen. Cripes A’Mighty se agt .50-kaliber masjiengewere het die onderskepper feitlik verbrokkel. Preddy se 487ste vegvliegtuig was die enigste uit die 352ste groep wat daardie dag doodgemaak het, maar daar kom nog baie meer.

Op 22 Desember het die groep opgestaan ​​om 574 bomwerpers te ontmoet wat teruggekeer het nadat hulle die plase in Munster en Onabruck verwoes het. Preddy's wingman was 'n talentvolle jong konsertpianis met die naam Richard R. Grow. Die paartjie het van die res van hul vlug geskei toe hulle in 'n groot, deurmekaar hondegeveg in 'n groot wolkebank net oos van die Zuider Zee gedompel het. Van die onderkant van die kumulus af kom hulle alleen en begin klim om weer by die bomwerpersvorming aan te sluit.

By 'n blaaskans in die wolke, kyk hulle na 'n goggel van 16 Messerschmidts wat 'n rokende B-24 aanval. Preddy het die Duitser wat die naaste aan die bomwerper was, aan die brand gesteek en toe in die bewolktheid teruggesak. Verbasend genoeg draai die res van die onderskepers van die bomwerper af en vertrek na die Thunderbolts. Die Cripes A’Mighty van 13 000 pond oortref sy agtervolgers maklik, maar hulle het blykbaar Grow ingehaal. Hy het nooit uit die wolke gekom nie. Tog het die verlamde Bevryder, Lizzie, huis toe gekom. Preddy is aanbeveel vir die Distinguished Service Cross vir hierdie episode, maar ontvang eerder die derde hoogste versiering van Amerika, die Silver Star.

Die riskante see -redding van Preddy

Na Kersfees het massiewe ysstorms die Europese vasteland omhels en groot lugoperasies deur beide kante afgebreek. Op 29 Januarie 1944 het die weer lank genoeg opgeklaar, sodat 'n massa 800 bomwerpers die industriële komplekse van Frankfurt-an-der-Main kon teiken. Toe die 487ste vlieg om die terugkerende formasies te ontmoet, het Preddy 'n FW-190 oor die Franse kus neergeskiet, maar te laag oor 'n vlakteput gegaan en 'n direkte slag opgedoen. Hy het daarin geslaag om die rokende Cripes A'Mighty tot 5000 voet te lok, maar toe begin die swaar vliegtuig hoogte verloor.

By 'n hoogte van 2 000 voet het Preddy besef dat hy binnekort te laag sou wees om te ontsnap, en hy spring toe en druk sy rubberboot onder druk. Sy vleuelman, eerste luitenant William Whisner, loop die risiko om nie meer brandstof te kry deur oor Preddy te sirkel en herhaaldelik sy koördinate uit te stuur totdat lug-see-redding die posisie kan verdriedubbel. 'N Vliegboot van die Royal Air Force het aangekom, maar in die rowwe, ysige see het dit oor Preddy geloop, erg gekneus en hom amper verdrink. Toe die Britse vlieënier probeer opstyg, tref 'n golf die vliegtuig en breek een van sy pontons af. Dit het dit onmoontlik gemaak om in die groot deinings in die lug te kom, sodat die bemanning 'n Royal Navy -loods moes oproep om die kreupel vlieënde boot na die hawe te sleep. Die Engelse het egter 'n bietjie smokkelbrandewyn aan boord gehad, en teen die bekendstelling was Preddy en sy redders goed ontdooi.

Verlief op die P-51 Mustang

Kort na sy ysige doop begin Preddy en die 352ste oorskakel na die nuwe Noord-Amerikaanse P-51 Mustang-vegter en raak dadelik verlief daarop. Op 22 April het die groep 'n uitgerekte begeleiding gestuur vir bomwerpers wat Hamm, Sost, Bonn en Koblenz aanval. Tussen bombardemente het Preddy en twee ander vlieëniers die Luftwaffe -vliegveld by Stade bestook. Hulle het terselfdertyd hul gewere oopgemaak op 'n Junkers Ju-88 tweemotorige bomwerper wat pas opgestyg het, en dit uitmekaar geskeur. Nadat hulle drie by Bodney aangemeld het, het hulle drie geamuseerdes gekry om 'n .33 moordkrediet te kry.

Die P-51 Mustang wat majoor George Preddy gevlieg het in afwisselende swart en wit D-Day-herkenningsstrepe, sit op 'n aanloopbaan. Preddy se vliegtuie is Cripes A'Mighty genoem, 'n verwysing na sy gunsteling uitroep terwyl hy dobbel.

Op 30 April het Preddy, nuut bevorder tot groot, aanvaarde geveg met 'n FW-190 op 17.000 voet oor Clermont, Frankryk, vinnig sy teenstander gevlam. Vanaf hierdie tydstip het sy moordtotaal geleidelik toegeneem namate hy en Cripes A 'Mighty II beter kennis gemaak het. Dit het op 'n goeie tyd gekom.

Ses dood met 'n kater

Die inval in Normandië was in die vooruitsig, en die USAAF konsentreer op die neutralisering van die opposisie van Luftwaffe in Noordwes -Europa. Vanaf 30 April tot die D-Day-landing op 6 Junie het Preddy nog 4,5 vliegtuie neergesak. Teen hierdie tyd het hy reeds 'n standaard diens van 200 uur voltooi, asook twee verlengings van 50 uur. Hy kon teruggekeer het huis toe, maar het net gedink wat hy kon doen om die oorlog te beëindig. Hy het 'n derde verlenging van 50 uur gekry. Terwyl Noord -Frankryk in die somer van 1944 tot 'n kramp gekom het, het hy nege doodgemaak van 12 Junie tot 5 Augustus. Sy grootste avontuur was op hande.

Nadat hy op die aand van 5 Augustus teruggekeer het na die basis, lees hy die weerkundige verslag wat wydverspreide donderstorms vir die volgende dag voorspel, en kondig aan dat daar geen vlugte is nie. Dit was die aand van die 352ste se oorlogsverbintenispartytjie, en die strydmoeg Preddy het 'n vreugdevolle tyd gehad tot amper dagbreek. Gedurende die nag se feestyd het niemand opgemerk hoe die lug opklaar nie. Die jong held het net voor dagbreek in die bed gaan lê. Twintig minute later het 'n assistent hom wakker gemaak met die nuus dat 'n bomaanval geskeduleer is, en hy word as vlugleier vir die begeleide elemente aangewys.

Tydens die voorlig -inligtingsessie was Preddy so dronk dat hy van die podium geval het. Uit gebrek aan iets beters, het verskeie vlieëniers hom in 'n stoel gestut en 'n suurstofmasker oor sy neus gehou terwyl hy stadig en ietwat ontnugter was. Nadat hy opgestaan ​​het, gooi sy kamerade 'n glas yswater in sy gesig, klap hom met 'n nat handdoek en lei hom na sy vliegtuig. Nadat hulle hom in die kajuit gehelp het, het hy normaalweg opgestyg en sy eskader op 'n maksimum poging na Berlyn gelei. Die weer was pragtig met wolklose lug en onbeperkte sigbaarheid. Die Luftwaffe was ook van krag.

Voordat die Amerikaners hul doel bereik het, het 30 Duitse Me-109's die B-17's van die Preddy-eskader aangeval, maar dit lyk nie asof hulle die meegaande Mustangs opgemerk het nie. Onder leiding van 'n aanval van agter, het Preddy op 'n afsnyer oopgemaak en blykbaar die vlieënier doodgemaak. Die vlammende vliegtuig draai na die aarde, en geen valskerm blom nie. Preddy het daarna 'n vlaag koeëls in 'n ander 109 se poortvleuelwortel gestuur en dit aangesteek toe sy vlieënier ontsnap het. Terwyl die Mustang -vlieëniers dieper in die vyandelike vorming gewaai het en die een Duitse vliegtuig na die ander afgetel het, het die vooraaners op die bomwerpers geskiet, oënskynlik onbewus van die agtervolgende bedreiging.

Preddy het nog twee Me-109's afgelaai voordat die oorblywende onderskepers skielik besef het dat hulle aangeval word. Toe hierdie oorlewendes wou vlug, het die Amerikaners gevolg. Preddy het sy vyfde slagoffer van hierdie geveg aan die brand gesteek, en toe die troepe vegters tot net 5 000 voet daal, het hy aan die stert van nog 'n ander een vasgeklou. Die Duitser ruk sy vliegtuig na links in 'n poging om op sy agtervolgers se stert te klim, maar Preddy reageer te vinnig, skeer ook links en verby die Messerschmitt. Met die snelheid wat hy in sy duik opgebou het, het hy agter die Me-109 laat val en van naby afgevuur. Ook hierdie vlieënier het ontsnap.

Die grootste P-51 Mustang-vegter van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, majoor George Preddy, beskryf die aksie by sy terugkeer van 'n suksesvolle missie.

Nadat Preddy by Bodney teruggekeer het, het die gevegsfotograaf, eerste luitenant George Arnold, die bleek, sieklike held afgeneem wat uit Cripes A'MightyII se spoegkajuit gespuit het. Omdat hy nie die moeite gedoen het om sy moord aan te meld nie, het Preddy sy geweer -kamera -opnames en kamerade vir hom laat praat. In die komende dae het die pers in massas op die vliegveld neergedaal toe majoor George Preddy, Jr., slank en aantreklik as filmster, die roosterbrood van die geallieerde Europa geword het. Dit het alles gelyk asof hy hom in die verleentheid stel. Sy bevelvoerder, luitenant-kolonel John C. Meyer, het hom aanbeveel vir die Medal of Honor vir sy vlug van ses moorde en was kwaad toe brig. Edward H. Anderson het in plaas daarvan 'n Distinguished Flying Cross op die tuniek van Preddy vasgemaak. Gewoonlik het dit nie gelyk of die jong majoor omgee nie.

“ Eerwaarde, ek moet teruggaan ”

Deur die kombinasie van lug-, grond- en gedeeltelike doodslag het Preddy nou 31 oorwinnings behaal, en sy derde gevegsverlenging van 50 uur het verstryk. Hierdie keer het hy toestemming gegee om huis toe te gaan met verlof en sou hy nooit weer Cripes A'Mighty II vlieg nie. Die senior offisiere van die 352ste het verkeerdelik aangeneem dat hy ten goede gaan en het die vliegtuig aan 'n ander vlieënier toegewys.

Terwyl hy tuis was in Greensboro, Noord -Carolina, het Preddy vir sy pastoor gesê: 'Dominee, ek moet teruggaan.' Daar was min ruimte vir ego in hierdie onbaatsugtige jong soldaat. Toekennings, medaljes en aanbidding interesseer hom nie. Al wat hy regtig omgee, was om die oorlog tot 'n oorwinnende einde te bring, en hy het gedink dit sou vroeër gebeur as hy gevegsopdragte sou vlieg.

Preddy het sewe weke in die Verenigde State deurgebring voordat hy nog 'n verlenging van 50 uur gekry het. Toe hy na Engeland terugkeer, kry hy die bevel oor die 328ste eskader van die 352ste groep. Hy het ook 'n splinternuwe vegter P-51D-15NA ontvang wat hy geweier het om te vlieg totdat die naam Cripes A 'Mighty III op die romp geverf is. Preddy is in bevel van die 328ste eskader geplaas omdat dit die grootste doodslag in die groep gehad het, en daar word van hom verwag om iets hieraan te doen. Hy het sy bes gedoen in die tyd wat hy oor het.

Op 2 November het hy sy vlieëniers op 'n missie gelei om bomwerpers te bewaak wat op pad was na Merseburg. Toe hy 'n aantal verdagte voorwerpe op 33.000 voet sien, besef hy dat 'n vlug van onderskepers op hul hoogteplafon afgestorm het in die hoop om die bomwerpers van bo af aan te val. Die Mustangs kon egter so hoog vlieg as die Messerschmidts, en Preddy het sy formasie agter die Duitsers gelei en was die eerste wat aanval. Alhoewel dit die eerste keer was dat hy ooit deur die nuwe K-14 guns-deur deur die Britse ontwerp gekyk het, het hy dit deskundig gebruik en vinnig 'n Me-109 laat val terwyl hy en sy manne die vyandelike formasie verstrooi het voordat dit die bomwerpers kon molesteer.

Die volgende dag het hy 'n FW-190 neergeskiet. Dit was sy laaste oorwinning vir meer as 'n maand, terwyl die dun uitgerekte Luftwaffe, oorlaai deur 'n oorlog op drie fronte, in wese vir 'n paar weke verdwyn het. Dit het ook gehelp om die geallieerdes se lug- en grondeenhede tot 'n gevaarlike oorvertroue te dwing, terwyl Nazi -Duitsland 'n laaste keer opgeruk het.

Val onoorwonne

Gedurende 1944 het die Duitse Ryk groot verwoesting ondergaan. Elke militêre historikus het ook geweet dat die Duitse leër tradisioneel nie gedurende die winter groot offensiewe begin het nie, veral toe dit reeds duidelik was. Daarom, nie omdat Pearl Harbor die Amerikaanse weermag so heeltemal verras het as om 05:00 op 16 Desember 1944 nie, toe 600 000 onopgemerkte Duitse soldate uit die bevrore Ardennenbos ontplof het in wat bekend sou staan ​​as die Slag van die Bulge. Die slegste weer in maande het Wes -Europa toegemaak en die stygende Wehrmacht teen geallieerde lugmag beskerm.

Soos die res van die USAAF, is die 352ste deur die bewolktheid en sneeustorme ingesink. Die 328ste eskader het op 23 Desember in 'n bosveld buite Asche, België, opgehef in die hoop om vyande se grondseenhede vas te trek, maar na 'n vrugtelose patrollie waartydens die wolkplafon so naby die grond was, moes die vlieëniers bome ontwyk, hulle het teruggekeer na die basis sonder om 'n skoot te skiet. Sonder verkenningsvlugte het hulle nie geweet waar om teikens te soek nie, en radioverslae van grondeenhede in die deurmekaar bosgevegte weerspreek mekaar. Die gefrustreerde vlieëniers het die volgende twee dae briewe geskryf, gelees, kaarte gespeel en dobbelstene geskiet in hul ysige boskamp.

Op Kersdag was Preddy een van die 10 vlieëniers wat opgestyg het in die hoop om hul infanterie en gepantserde eenhede te ondersteun wat probeer het om die vyandelike stroom wat weswaarts maal te stuit. Hulle het drie uur lank niks gekry nie, en 'n radioberig gekry oor 'n vyandelike vlug net suidwes van Koblenz. Op pad na die sektor het hulle die bandiete gevind en van bo aangeval. Gewoonlik in die voortou het Preddy twee Me-109's gevlam en sy manne gelei om die res van die Duitsers te volg terwyl hulle na Luik draai.

Hy sluit toe op 'n FW-190 en skiet van naby af op dieselfde tyd toe 'n Amerikaanse bemanning teen vliegtuie op hom oopkom. Die grondskutters het vinnig agtergekom dat hulle op een van hul eie vliegtuie skiet en die vuur gestaak het, maar dit was te laat. Een van die koeëls van 0,50 kaliber het deur Preddy se regterbobeen gegaan en sy femorale slagaar gesny. Hy het naby die flakput beland en infanteriste het hom na 'n veldhospitaal gebring, maar hy het doodgebloei voordat hy dit bereik het.

Majoor George Preddy is nooit in 'n geveg verslaan nie. Op 25 -jarige ouderdom het hy ten prooi geval aan menslike foute. Met 27,5 bevestigde moord, was hy die Mustang-aas van die oorlog wat die hoogste was, ondanks die feit dat hy hierdie pragtige vliegtuig minder as een jaar gevlieg het. Dit alles kristalliseer sy status as een van Amerika se grootste oorlogshelde.

Op 17 April 1945 is die 20-jarige broer van Preddy, William, 'n Mustang-vlieënier met twee oorwinnings, dood deur lugvuur oor Pilsen, Tsjeggo-Slowakye.

Skrywer Kelly Bell skryf gereeld oor verskillende aspekte van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, insluitend die lugoorlog in Wes -Europa. Hy woon in Tyler, Texas.


Die P-51 Mustang het 'n terugkeer in die Koreaanse oorlog gemaak

Die publiek onthou meestal die Noord-Amerikaanse P-51 Mustang as die vegvliegtuig wat geallieerde bomwerpers tydens Duitsland en Japan tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog beskerm het.

Die publiek onthou meestal die Noord-Amerikaanse P-51 Mustang as die vegvliegtuig wat geallieerde bomwerpers oor Duitsland en Japan beskerm het tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Teenoor die tyd dat die oorlog in Korea in 1950 uitgebreek het deur nuwer straalvegters, het die relatiewe tegnologiese agterstand van die F-51 'n gekwalifiseerde seën geword vir noue lugondersteuning en slagveldinterdikies teen die Koreaanse weermag.

Warren Thompson se nuwe boek F-51 Mustang-eenhede van die Koreaanse Oorlog fokus op die rol van die veteraanvegter in Korea, en onthul ook die onbekende geskiedenis van die vliegtuig met Australië, Suid-Afrika en die Republiek van Korea.

Noord-Korea se inval in die Suide op 25 Junie 1950 het die Amerikaanse weermag in die Verre Ooste geskrik, wat verswak is deur demobilisering na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die enigste Amerikaanse oorlogsvliegtuie in die streek was F-82G Twin Mustangs en F-80C Shooting Stars wat uit Japan werk.

Alhoewel hierdie vliegtuie 'n lofwaardige taak verrig het om verkennings- en grondaanvalle te doen en die ontruiming van Amerikaanse onderdane uit die oorlogsgebied te dek, was daar nie genoeg van hulle om rond te gaan nie. Boonop het die hoë brandstofverbruik van die F-80C's, die beperkte bomkolom-gleuwe en die lang vliegreis van Japan na Korea hul loer tyd oor die slagveld beperk tot minute.

Die F-51D Mustang, wat teen 1950 hoofsaaklik aan Air National Guard en Reserve-eskaders in die kontinentale Verenigde State toegewys was, was die ideale vliegtuig om die druk op die Verenigde Nasies se magte te verlig. Die Mustang se lang werkafstand en uithouvermoë, wat dit in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog so goed gedien het, het dit nou toegelaat om langer as die F-80C oor die slagveld te dwaal.

Anders as die nuwer straaljagters, was die F-51D meer verdraagsaam teenoor die rowwe, geïmproviseerde lugvelde wat tipies is vir Korea-so hulle hoef nie te spandeer nie ure heen en weer vlieg vanaf lugbasisse in Japan. Benewens sy ses .50 kaliber masjiengewere, kon die Mustang 'n aansienlike reeks napalm, bomme en vuurpyl-vuurpyle onder sy vlerke gooi.

Soos Thompson verduidelik, in die eerste maand van die Noord-Koreaanse inval was die enigste F-51's in Korea 10 wat die ROK Lugmag gebruik het om sy eerste gevegsvlieëniers op te lei. Amerikaanse vlieëniers, van wie baie oorgegaan het na die F-80C, is saam met B-26B Invaders en die Amerikaanse vloot F4U Corsairs wat in die stryd aangesluit het om terug te keer na die KPA teruggesit.

Intussen was die Amerikaanse lugmag besig om soveel as moontlik F-51's van die eskaders in die Verenigde State te oes en dit vinnig op die vliegdekskip USS te pak Bokser vir aflewering na die oorlogsgebied. By hul aankoms het die Mustangs onmiddellik teisterings uitgevoer op die hordes KPA-troepe en T-34/85 tenks wat die VN-magte om die Pusan-omtrek gedruk het.

Aan die bokant — ROKAF F-51Ds. Bo — 'n Amerikaanse lugmag F-51D in Korea. Hieronder — F-51D's op die USS Bokser op pad na Korea. Alle foto's via Wikimedia Commons

Thompson beskryf hoe verskeie probleme tydens hierdie fase van die oorlog vir die Mustangs en hul bemannings ontstaan ​​het. Toestande op Koreaanse vliegvelde was duidelik hel. Die vlamende somer het die vliegveld van Pohang, aan die oostekant van die Pusan ​​-omtrek, in 'n buitelug -sweetwinkel verander vir vlieëniers en grondpersoneel wat op katione en louwarm water gebly het, wat onrein was deur suiweringstablette, terwyl klewerige stof die enjins van Mustangs verstik en brandstoflyne.

Dit was moeilik om die opkomende KPA te bereik weens die teenwoordigheid van burgerlike vlugtelinge wat dieselfde paaie as hul agtervolgers gebruik.

Strafaanvalle wat deur die VN se lugmag toegedien is, het die KPA genoop om troepebewegings tot nag te beperk en soldate en toerusting te kamoefleer met enige dekking beskikbaar, soms deur tenks in huise of hooiberg te ry. Van al die verskillende tipes wapens wat die Mustangs gebruik het, was KPA -troepe die grootste bang vir napalm.

F-51-vlieëniers van die 51ste Fighter Interceptor Squadron het hibriede napalm- en#8212 termietbomme gebruik wat die rubber regs van die tenkwiele gesmelt het.

Na die suksesvolle amfibiese aanval van die Amerikaners op Inchon, het die F-51D-eskaders gehelp om die KPA terug te tref na Noord-Korea, maar hul slagoffers het gestyg. Grondvuur was die primêre bedreiging vir F-51's weens die kwesbaarheid van hul Merlin-enjins. Chinese MiG-15-stralers wat uit Manchuriaanse heiligdomme vlieg, het vanaf November 1950 'n ekstra gevaar ingehou.

Die vinnige Sowjetvliegtuig se kanonne van 23 millimeter en 37 millimeter het die Mustang se eie masjiengewere bereik en kan die meeste vliegtuie krities vermink met 'n enkele plofbare treffer. Oor-ooreenstem op byna elke manier, die enigste 'n Mustang -vlieënier se manier om te oorleef, was om in die aankomende MiG te draai en reguit onder sy vlugpad te vlieg en te ontsnap.

Noord-Koreaanse Yakovlev Yak-9s vegters was meer hanteerbare teëstanders vir die F-51D. Die Yak-9 was 'n bekwame vegter wat, net soos die Mustang, hom tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in die stryd teen die Duitsers bewys het. Sy liggewig konstruksie het hom vinniger as die F-51D laat klim en die Amerikaanse vliegtuig omgedraai. Maar die Amerikaanse vlieëniers was vaardiger as hul Noord-Koreaanse mededingers en VN-vegvliegtuie het gehelp om die F-51D's teen die Yaks te beskerm as die weer mooi was.

Die boek van Thompson bied 'n fassinerende blik op die diens van die Mustang by Australië se 77 -eskader, Suid -Afrika se nommer 2 -eskader en die Republiek van Korea se lugmag. Die Royal Australian Air Force het tussen Julie 1950 en April 1951 slegs nege maande lank F-51D's in diens geneem voordat hulle met Gloster Meteor-straaljagters vervang is. Die Australiërs het tien vlieëniers wat in aksie gedood is, en nog vier aan ongelukke verloor. Voordat hulle ander VN-magte bygestaan ​​het om KPA-hordes om Pusan ​​te hamer, het die Aussie F-51's Amerikaanse B-29's verwoes wat die Yonpo-vliegveld verwoes het.

Suid -Afrika se ampstermyn met die vliegtuig het in November 1950 begin toe die Afrikaners hul eerste gevegsopdragte vanaf Pyongyang gevlieg het. Hul verliese was altesaam 12 dood in aksie en 30 vermis.


Arrogante Amerikaanse generaals het van die P-51 Mustang 'n noodsaaklikheid gemaak

B-17 bomwerpers tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Lugmag foto

Met beter leierskap was die ikoniese vegvliegtuig dalk onnodig

deur JAMES PERRY STEVENSON en PIERRE SPREY

Die voordele wat die P-51 Mustang vir luggevegte in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog gebring het, veral oor Duitsland, is redelik bekend. Die ikoniese vegvliegtuig kan hoër, vinniger, verder vlieg en meer doodmaak per slag as die Amerikaanse lugmagmag se lugburokrasie se voorkeur-P-47's of P-38's.

Die werklike Die Mustang-verhaal van P-51 handel net soveel oor die moeilike swangerskap van 'n nuwe vegter as oor die afval van die tenks wat dringend nodig is om die reeks bestaande vegters uit te brei. Dan is daar die guerrillataktiek wat sommige amptenare in die gange van mag losgemaak het om die weermag se "nie hier uitgevinde" vyandigheid teenoor die vliegtuig te oorkom nie, sowel as die bedrieglike naoorlogse herskrywing van die geskiedenis deur die nuut geslaan Amerikaanse lugmag.

Tussen die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het bomwerpers hoër en vinniger begin vlieg as bestaande uitgediende tweedekkervliegtuie. Tog het die Amerikaanse weermaglugkorps se bomwerpergenerale geweier om te voorsien dat vyandelike vegters kan verhinder dat die houtvliegtuie altyd by die teiken uitkom.

Hierdie beamptes het selfs veldoefeninge uitgevoer wat ontwerp is om hul terreine van bomwerper -onoorwinlikheid te ondersteun. Lt. -kolonel Henry "Hap" Arnold van die Amerikaanse weermag, 'n toonaangewende advokaat vir bomwerpers, wat uiteindelik hoof van die lugkorps van die diens sou word, was veral vasbeslote om hierdie punt te bewys.

"Oefeninge wat in 1931 gehou is, versterk skynbaar die idee dat vinnige bomwerpers op hul eie goed kan vaar," het die militêre historikus dr. Tami Davis Biddle geskryf. Retoriek en werklikheid in lugoorlogvoering. “Arnold het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom, net soos die skeidsregters, waarvan een verklaar het: '[Dit is onmoontlik vir vegters om bomwerpers te onderskep en daarom is dit in stryd met die gebruik van lugmag om vegters te ontwikkel.' ”

'N Vroeë P-51B Mustang. Lugmag foto

Hierdie rigiede ingesteldheid het ingebed in die weermag se lugmagstrategie, sy begrotingsgevegte en sy eindelose spronge lugmagpropaganda.
Binne 'n paar jaar het oorlogswedstryde en werklike luggevegte in die buiteland egter baie bewys gelewer dat die Army Air Corps se koper tot die verkeerde gevolgtrekking gekom het.

'[In] 1933, ... eskaders onderskep 55 persent van die vyandelike dagformasies terwyl hulle na die teiken vlieg, ... nog 26 persent toe hulle dit verlaat [en] 67 persent van die individuele nagaanvalters word onderskep,' het Biddle opgemerk. 'Maar wat duidelik duidelike verdedigingsoorwinnings gelyk het, word nie so beskou nie: voorstanders van strategiese bombardemente wou nie die verwoestende bomwerperslag wat deur hierdie oefenresultate voorspel word, begryp nie.

"By die beoordeling van die resultate het die bomwerper -advokate formele reëls en kognitiewe filters opgestel [om te verseker] dat hulle sou sien wat hulle sou verwag: die voorrang van die lugaanval wat deur vasberade bomwerpers gevoer word," het sy bygevoeg. 'Die reëls waarvolgens die oefening uitgevoer is, het bomaanvallers voordele gebied, en skeidsregters het onverwagte, [ongemaklike] resultate verduidelik.

Kort daarna kom daar teenstrydige bewyse, wat begin in Julie 1936. Die Spaanse Burgeroorlog van 33 maande het die geleentheid gebied om te sien hoe vegters demonstreer hoe dodelik hulle werklik teen bomwerpers was en hul vermoë om die masjiengewere van die bomwerpers te oorleef. Die beslis ongunstige verlies aan bommesmytverlies wat in Spanje ondervind is, het duidelik voorspel wat Amerikaanse bomwerpers in die volgende oorlog sou ondervind.

"Beide kante het bevind dat die begeleiding van bomwerpers wat hul doelwitte na en van hul doel bereik, dubbel en meer as dubbel, ondanks die vermoë van die bomwerper om vegters af te skiet," het weermagamptenare verklaar , volgens Biddle.

Amerikaanse weermag kpt. Claire Chennault, die hoofgeveginstrukteur van die Air Corps Tactical School, het aangevoer dat die bomwerper nie immuun was teen die 'ou beginsel dat daar vir elke wapen 'n nuwe en effektiewe teenwapen is nie', verduidelik Biddle. As beloning vir sy duidelike en profetiese taktiese leerstellings, het die bomwerperleierskap van die Tactical School hom oorgegee vir bevordering, wat die beampte in 1937 laat bedank het.

Ironies genoeg het dit Chennault beskikbaar gestel om die legendariese Flying Tigers van China op te lei en te lei. Hul briljante gevegsrekord met behulp van sy taktiek bevestig al sy idees oor die verwoestende doeltreffendheid van klein vegtergroepe teen aansienlik groter Japannese bomwerpers.

Net soos die leër van die Army Air Corps die idees en resultate van Chennault geïgnoreer het, sou sy ingesteldheid nie 'n objektiewe interpretasie van die Spaanse burgeroorlog veroorsaak nie. Die konflik dui daarop dat vegvliegtuie begelei is noodsaaklik om onvolhoubare bomwerperverliese te voorkom.

Die baie akkuraatheid van die Amerikaanse weermag word gewys. Lugmag foto

Die weermag se lugvaartafdeling wou beslis nie bomwerpersgeld aflei om begeleiders te koop nie. Aangesien generaals vasbeslote was om diep in 'n vyand se hart te vlieg, was die sterker beswaar dat die kort reeks beskikbare vegters bomwerpers verhinder om hierdie verre teikens te bereik.

In werklikheid was dit 'n self-toegediende wond. Die weermag se P-47's en P-38's kon die bomwerpers inderdaad diep in Duitsland begelei het vanaf die oomblik dat hulle na Brittanje ontplooi het. Arnold het dit onmoontlik gemaak deur eksterne valtenks op vegters te verbied.

Sedert valtenks in die bomlading gesny het, het hy dit as baie belangrik geag, “[in] Februarie 1939 verbied Arnold die ontwikkeling van 'n tenk van 52 liter vir die P-36-vegvliegtuig om veiligheidsredes,” Trent Telenko het in 'n gedetailleerde pos vir die blog Chicago Boyz geskryf. "'N Brandstoftenkrak met 'n brandstoftenk van 52 liter kan 'n bom van 300 pond dra."

Arnold het af en toe oomblikke van duidelike taktiese redenasie getoon. In April 1940 hersien hy die aanbevelings van die raad wat hy ingestel het om prioriteite vir die Army Air Corps te stel.

Die Emmons Board het 'n baie lang afstand swaar bomwerper as eerste prioriteit aanbeveel. Die vierde prioriteit was 'n begeleier vegter met 'n afstand van 1,500 myl.

Tot eer van Arnold, het hy die eerste en vierde prioriteit verruil en langafstand-vegvliegtuie na die eerste plek gebring. Die aanvalle op Pearl Harbor en die Filippyne het ongetwyfeld sy aansporings verhoog om die probleem met die vegvliegtuig op te los.

Tydens 'n vergadering op 20 Februarie 1942 het "Arnold beveel dat die brandstof tenks volledig ontwikkel moet word," het majoor Robert Eslinger van die Amerikaanse lugmag in 'n navorsingsartikel aan die Air Command and Staff College geskryf. This decision came just two and a half months after Japanese Zero fighters used bamboo-and-paper drop tanks to escort bombers that wiped out America’s own Philippine-based B-17 bomber force.

Unfortunately, in the heat of his budget battles for more and larger four-engine bombers, the bomber general failed to follow up on the nickel-and-dime drop tank issue.

Eight months later, in October 1942 “… Eighth Air Force … inquired whether jettisonable fuel tanks could be made available for the P-47,” scholar William Emerson said in a lecture, titled Operation POINTBLANK: A Tale of Bombers and Fighters. “Nothing came of the request.”

“In February 1943 [another request was made],” Emerson continued. “It is not clear from the record what response was forthcoming to this request … but it is clear that little was accomplished up to June 29, 1943, when [Army Materiel Command] belatedly held a final design conference on P-47 auxiliary tanks.”

“On August 8, 1943, … [Army Materiel Command] had to confess that although some experimental types had been completed, none were yet available for use in operational theaters.”

A P-47 fighter plane with a drop tank. Air Force photo

Out of frustration, the Eighth Fighter Command in England made its own tanks. In addition, the unit hired local British craftsmen to make some out of glue-impregnated kraft paper.

Elsewhere, U.S. Army Gen. George Kenney’s Fifth Air Force in the Pacific developed its versions from old Spam cans. These tanks turned out better than the ones that finally arrived through official Army Air Forces channels.

Upon discovering this, Arnold wrote “there is no reason in God’s world why General Kenney should have to develop his own belly tanks,” according to Emerson. “If he can develop one over there in two months, we should be able to develop one here in the States in one month.”

Of course, it was Arnold’s failure to follow up on the issue that allowed 20 months to pass without anyone supplying a single U.S.-built belly tank to American fighter pilots in combat. The Army bureaucracy’s perennial hostility to ideas from the field — especially really cheap and embarrassingly effective ones — surely didn’t help matters.

Map showing the range of the P-47 with and without tanks. Air Force art

Throughout World War II, the Army Air Forces bombarded the American public with press releases about the accuracy of the Norden bombsight and how it and the four-engine bomber would bring Germany to its knees. Both the gullible public and the politicians, believing in the integrity of high ranking officers, swallowed the propaganda about American bombers flying so high and so fast that enemy fighters and surface-to-air guns couldn’t possibly prevent them from destroying the Hun’s means and will to wage war.

Indeed, even before the war started, the Army was already pushing the idea of winning wars through air power without any need to send in the troops at all. American bomber generals, having preached that the B-17 was an invincible, self-defending flying fortress, couldn’t wait to start bombing Germany — even without fighter escort and drop tanks.

When the Eighth Air Force dropped the first bombs on German soil on Jan. 27, 1943, the mission exposed the mismatch between this concept and the brutal reality of war. The crews targeted the naval port at Wilhelmshaven in a raid involving more than 90 B-17 and B-24 bombers.

Only 58 bombers — 60 percent — found the target. The bomber force had no escort fighters, but crews claimed they shot down 22 German defenders.

German after-action reports show the Luftwaffe lost seven fighters — confirming the savvy air historian’s working premise that combat claims are usually exaggerated by a factor of PI. The Nazis shot down three bombers — five percent of those that reached the target — killing or wounding 35 American fliers, according to the official record.

This seemingly low loss rate was, in fact, already unsustainable due to the inexorable arithmetic of combat attrition. A five percent loss rate means you’ve lost half your bombers — and more than half your crews because of the extra casualties aboard the shot-up bombers that manage to limp home — after only 11 missions.

Far worse was yet to come.

This B-17 lost most of its nose to enemy fire in a raid over Europe. Air Force photo

U.S. Army Gen. Ira Eaker, in charge of the Eighth Air Force in England, persisted in launching bomber raids without escorts deep into Germany. Bomber losses mounted during spring 1943, running 80 per month between April and June and increasing to 110 per month by summer.

Eaker’s commitment to the strategy remained unshaken. In Fall 1943, he launched a major raid on an aircraft and ball bearings plants in and around Schweinfurt, followed by another against automotive factories in Stuttgart. The missions proved disastrous.

Eighth Air Force lost 19 and 17 percent of the bombers sent on each operation, respectively, along with 1,200 crew casualties. The bombing only reduced factory production by one third for a few weeks.

Oblivious to these crushingly unsustainable losses, in October 1943, the unit’s aircraft mounted a whole week of maximum effort bombing. This culminated in Black Thursday — Oct 14, 1943 — the nickname for yet another large Schweinfurt raid.

This attack proved even more brutal on American fliers than the first attempt. After the mission was over, the Eighth had to write off 26 percent of its bombers.

By this time, Eaker’s bomber losses were so high that he would have to replace his entire bomber force every three months — a clearly impossible proposition. Even worse, he would be losing 100 percent of his bomber crews every three months, as well.

In the graph above, the vertical red bars indicate the available bombers for the Eighth Air Force for a given month whereas the green and red line indicate the cumulative loss of bombers. Using the data from Williamson Murray’s Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933–1945, a quick scan indicates that Army bombers on hand were getting replaced too slowly to make up for losses starting in September 1943.

Black October and the 2,030 dead crews lost that month ended the myth of the bomber always “getting through” without the benefit of escorts.

For the nine months from that first raid on Wilhelmshaven through Black October, thousands of bomber crewmen died unnecessarily while British bases were chock full of fighters that could have protected them all the way to their German targets. To Arnold and his failure to implement his belly tank directive must go the responsibility for their deaths.

Black October made it obvious that losses of bombers and crews exceeded America’s ability to replace them. With the utter failure of the bomber mafia’s fanatical faith in the self-defending bomber exposed, Eaker had no choice but to abandon the unescorted bomber raids he had championed so relentlessly.

“With the Schweinfurt missions went the virtual end of the idea that the heavy bomber could ‘go it alone’,” the Air Force conceded in a 1955 history. “The debate that had continued since the early 1930’s was now all but over.”

“To reach targets in Germany would require more than a regrouping of bomber formations and an inculcation of an offensive spirit,” the review added. “These would help, but they were not answers to the German Me-109 and Fw-190 [fighter planes].”

“The Eighth Bomber Command’s Operational Research Section stated: ‘…enemy fighter activity is probably the sole cause of two out of five of our loses, and that is the final cause of seven out of ten of our losses.’”

Turning the bombers loose with fighters that could fly only a short distance was like providing a fire escape that went down to the fourth floor and, when fire broke out, forcing residents to jump the final three stories.

The Army suspended unescorted bomber raids until 1944. The order came from U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Fred Anderson, head of the Eighth Bomber Command, on Oct. 22, 1943, U.S. Army Maj. Greg Grabow explained in a Command and General Staff College thesis.

A map comparing the ranges of the P-38 and P-51 fighter planes. Air Force art

Two months later, like the Deus ex machina of a Greek play, the Merlin-engine powered P-51B Mustang made its serendipitous debut in December 1943. The new escort fighter could fly almost as far as the bombers could bomb. Equally important, U.S. Army Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, a firm believer in the value of fighter escort, took over for Eaker.

On Dec. 11, 1943, the P-51Bs flew their first escort mission, bringing bombers to Emdem on the German coast, just short of Wilhelmshaven. Two days later the Mustangs escorted bombers on a raid deep into Germany, flying 480 miles to hit the German naval base at Kiel.

With P-51Bs providing escort, losses immediately dropped.

As Pentagon staff officers are fond of saying, “success has many fathers failure is always an orphan.” Arnold was no exception.

In his post-war autobiography Global Mission, the officer took credit — with the help of an invented chronology — for allegedly fathering the early decision to draft the P-51 into Army Air Forces service:

Briefly, in 1940, “Dutch” Kindelberger, of North American, was asked to build P-40’s for the British. “Dutch” could not see his way to building P-40’s, so he had his engineers dig down in their files, pull out a substitute for the P-40. Our Materiel Division was not particularly interested, but they did say that if North American built these for the British, we were to get two P-51’s for nothing.

The first airplane was completed toward the latter part of 1940. Production was not started until the middle part of 1941 (Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft states December, 1941). When I went overseas in the Spring of 1941, Tommy Hitchcock and Mr. Winant talked to me about the P-51, although they didn’t know much about it at the time. Spaatz and I went out to the North American plant in January or February — anyway, early in 1942 — and it was then that we saw and inspected it and decided that we must have the P-51 for our own Air Force, in spite of the Materiel Division’s turning it down.

In truth, the Mustang’s birth and entry into World War II had nothing to do with the prescience of either Arnold or the Army. The general’s two paragraph explanation differs in important respects from several considerably more detached and detailed histories of the origins of the P-51, including Nelson Aldrich’s American Hero, Ray Wagner’s Mustang Designer, Jeff Ethell’s Mustang: A Documentary History of the P-51 and Lynne Olson’s Citizens of London.

A brief summary of their meticulously documented research into the evolution of the P-51 Mustang makes this very clear.

An early Mustang prototype with an Allison engine. North American Aviation photo

The Mustang was an example of chance favoring the prepared mind. In early 1940, officials in London set up the British Direct Purchase Commission to use American lend-lease funds to buy from American factories the weapons Britain most urgently needed — and to do so as quickly as possible.

With funds earmarked for a close support fighter — aka “army cooperation,” in British parlance — for the Royal Air Force, the commission decided to buy the in-production P-40 Warhawk. As it turned out, this aircraft was poorly suited for any form of ground attack.

However, the Army Air Corps warned the commission that the United States needed all the P-40s the Curtiss factory could produce. Instead, American officers suggested the British approach North American Aviation’s president James “Dutch” Kindelberger to see if his company might produce additional P-40s under license.

Kindelberger ran this idea by his brilliant young chief designer Ed Schmued, a naturalized citizen born in Germany. Schmued immediately replied he could design a much better airplane in three months. Many years later, one of the authors asked Schmued in interview if he had ever designed a fighter before.

“No, but I had been carrying around in my head concepts of what I would do if ever given the chance,” Schmued replied. “The design that became the P-51 is the result.”

The British accepted North American Aviation’s counter-offer to design and produce a completely new airplane for them on two conditions. First, North American had to deliver planes by January 1941 and second, the design had to use the same Allison engine as the P-40.

The British Direct Purchase Commission approved the contract on April 10, 1940 and the new prototype was on the runway 102 days after North American signed the document. Unfortunately, since Allison delivered engines three months late, the first flight only came on Oct. 26, 1940.

Production for the RAF started in early 1941 and the British named the production airplane the Mustang I. In August 1942, the first RAF Mustangs attacked Dieppe in France and enemy ships in the English channel.

In early 1943, the Army Air Forces sent the A-36 Apache version into combat in Italy. These aircraft were predictably vulnerable to even light anti-aircraft fire due to the liquid-cooled Allison engine.

In both RAF testing and in limited air combat over the channel, the Mustang Is showed some promise as an air-to-air fighter at low altitudes. Unfortunately, due to the Allison engine, the initial variant was decidedly inadequate for the high altitude bomber escort mission in the European theater.

Nevertheless, these disappointing early models led directly to the new and remarkably improved P-51 that saved Arnold and Spaatz’s failed bombing campaign. But neither Arnold nor Spaatz nor the Army’s procurement bureaucracy deserve credit for bringing the new, improved aircraft into American inventory.

A late-war P-51 Mustang. Air Force photo

Instead, it was an internationally-famous polo player, Tommy Hitchcock. He skillfully wielded his high level social and political connections to impose the P-51 on the reluctant bomber generals and a hostile bureaucracy.

Hitchcock came from a wealthy New York family, shot down two enemy planes as a volunteer pilot in World War I, got captured, escaped as a prisoner of war, spent the interwar years becoming what many considered the world’s best polo player, married into the Mellon fortune, served as the model for two of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most glamorous characters en wanted to get back into the cockpit as soon as World War II broke out.

His age — 41 years old — prevented him from following through with that plan.

Instead, the closest he could get to the war was as the assistant air attaché in the American Embassy in London. On May 1, 1942, nearly five months after Pearl Harbor attack, Hitchcock arrived at the post with the Army rank of major.

Hitchcock served as liaison between the Eighth Air Force and both British forces and the U.K.’s aviation industry. Some Americans found it difficult to accept that the British might have better ideas.

So, one of Hitchcock’s primary functions was to sniff out and pass on useful British innovations without revealing their foreign origins. In this role, Hitchcock learned that a test pilot for Rolls Royce, Ronnie Harker, had observed the nearly identical dimensions of the Allison and Merlin engines.

Harker had been urging Rolls Royce management to drop the Merlin — the powerplant behind the famous Spitfire fighter plane — into the Mustang’s engine bay. Harker and Hitchcock had each flown the Allison-powered Mustang and were impressed with the Mustang’s maneuvering performance at low altitude.

Harker noticed that at similar horsepower settings, the Mustang was both 30 miles per hour faster than the highly regarded Spitfire and had three times the fuel capacity — both clear signs of greatly improved range. Since the Allison engine ran out of power at higher altitudes and the Merlin engine performed superbly there, the potential combat benefits were obvious.

Rolls Royce notified Hitchcock of the planned Merlin-Mustang conversion test. There is some evidence that Hitchcock was already thinking in the same vein and had passed his thoughts to North American Aviation.

Around the same time, the Packard Motor Company was completing negotiations with Rolls Royce for an American license to build the Merlin engine. On July 25, 1942, North American Aviation was authorized to convert two of the British Mustangs to Merlin engines.

American officials dubbed these two airplanes XP-78s, before renaming them as XP-51Bs shortly thereafter. Back in England, British authorities officially authorized the Rolls Royce Merlin-Mustang conversion project on Aug. 12, 1942.

On Oct. 13, 1942, the first converted Mustang took off. With the Merlin engine, the plane’s top speed leapt from 390 to 433 miles per hour, could climb rate of 3,440 feet per minute and had a range of up to 2,000 miles with external drop tanks.

On Nov. 30, 1942, the month after Rolls Royce tested the improved Mustang, North American flew its own version with the Packard-licensed Merlin engine — and got even better results. The XP-51B reached 441 miles per hour in level flight at 29,800 feet — 100 miles per hour more than a Mustang with the Allison motor.

On top of that, the Merlin doubled the Mustang’s climb rate. The P-51B was better in virtually every dogfighting performance characteristic than either of the two top performing German fighters, the Me-109 and Fw-190.

Volgens Global Mission, Arnold claims he saw military attaché Tommy Hitchcock in London in spring 1941. This was impossible because Hitchcock did not arrive in London until May 1942.

Arnold’s own diary confirms this. “Tuesday, May 26, 1942 Went to Claridge[’s] Hotel with [U.S. Ambassador Gil] Winant. Breakfast with Winant, Chaney and military attache.”

Although the general didn’t name the “attaché,” Hitchcock arrived on May 1, 1942. It is likely that Arnold was referring to Hitchcock when he wrote the entry.

“Long discussion with Chaney and Winant re [sic] efficiency of U.S. pursuit, P-39 especially,” Arnold continued in his notes. “Chaney doubts efficiency of both P-38 and P-39, thinks we are doing wrong by using either.”

And it appears Hitchcock shared what he learned about the Merlin engine — or that U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had somehow learned about it separately. On Oct. 22, 1942, Churchill met with Arnold and raised a long list of staff-prepared issues for improving allied air operations, one of which was the Merlin-powered P-51.

Churchill “went on to recommend…the development of the P-51 Mustang fighter ‘with the right [Rolls-Royce] engines’,” Arnold noted.

Loaded with engineering estimates for Merlin-powered P-51 performance, in November 1942, Hitchcock flew back to Washington, D.C. to visit Arnold and share the good news. After the briefing, Arnold expressed tepid interest in the P-51, dismissing the data as merely “estimated.”

Hitchcock, un-cowed by four-star rank and not seeking a military career, went over Arnold’s head to Robert Lovett, then Assistant Secretary of War for Air. Presumably Lovett listened attentively.

Both men flew together in World War I. As fellow members of New York’s “400” social elite they often got together with other well-to-do individuals to play polo.

“Pressed hard by Lovett and others in the War Department, Arnold reluctantly gave in, ordering the production of an initial 2,200 P-51Bs, as hybrid Mustangs [with the British Rolls Royce engine] were called,” Olson wrote in Citizens of London. “But while the order was supposed to have the highest priority, there was a lag in producing the planes, and Arnold did little to speed it up.

“‘His hands were tied by his mouth’ Lovett noted,” according to Olson “[Arnold] said our only need was flying fortresses … [that] very few fighters could keep up with them.”

“But as Lovett added, ‘the Messerschmitts had no difficulty at all.’”

The troubling disparities between Arnold’s two paragraph account in his autobiography and the published Mustang histories are best summarized in the table below.

“It may be said that we could have had the long-range P-51 in Europe rather sooner that we did,” Arnold noted in Global Mission. “That we did not have it sooner was the Air Force’s own fault.”

His comment would have been more accurate if he had written: “That we did not have it sooner was my fault.”

In truth, with the right Army leadership priorities, the long range P-51B could have been in combat over Germany five months earlier, in July 1943. This assumes the planes would have been ready a conservative nine months after the first flight in October 1942.

With these fighters, the Eighth Air Force might have avoided devastating bomber and crew losses of the disastrous operations in summer and fall 1943. Even more importantly, Arnold could have added: “that our P-47s did not have the external tanks to accompany bombers deep into Germany far sooner was also my fault.”

Arnold mindset, which caused him to forbid drop tank development in 1939, doomed thousands of unescorted bomber crew members throughout all of 1943 to death and dismemberment. This needless slaughter remained unrelieved until the belated deliveries in 1944 of adequate quantities of drop tanks — and of long range P-51Bs.

James Perry Stevenson is the former editor of the Topgun Journal en die skrywer van The $5 Billion Misunderstanding en The Pentagon Paradox.


Commemorative Air Force North American P-51 “Red Nose”


In 1957, a small group of ex-service pilots pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang, beginning what is now called the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). With the addition of a pair of F8F Bearcats, the CAF became the founders of the Warbird Movement, an effort to preserve and honor our military history with the rallying cry to “Keep ‘Em Flying!” Now, 55 years later, the CAF is the premier Warbird organization, operating 156 vintage aircraft in Honor of American Military Aviation. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 9,000 members operating this fleet of historic aircraft, distributed to 70 units located in 28 states. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000.

This was that plane that launched the Confederate Air Force (now known as the Commemorative Air Force).

Though in storage for six years, this aircraft, now known as USAF F-51D-25NA S/N 42-73843, had not yet finished its tour of duty. In January of 1951, this aircraft was dropped from the USAF inventory and transferred to Canada under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. It was officially accepted by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on 11 January 1951, and was placed in Stored Reserve in Trenton, Ontario. A month later, on 26 February, this aircraft was once again flying, now with the No. 416 “LYNX” Squadron (Regular) of the RCAF, based in Uplands, Ontario.
It served with this regular unit for little more than a year before transfer to the No. 10 Technical Services Unit in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 28 March 1952. Here it stayed until assigned to the No. 420 “SNOWY OWLS” Squadron (Auxiliary) of the RCAF in London, Ontario. Its tenure with this unit lasted until 19 July 1956, when the aircraft was listed as awaiting disposal and placed into storage. It was then bought by a private company in the United States, and ended back in San Antonio, Texas, now as the property of Stinson Field Aircraft.
It was in 1957 that the aircraft was acquired by the founding members of the CAF including Lloyd P. Nolen himself. This airplane is not only historically significant, but it is thoroughly engrained in the CAF’s heritage as well. The Dixie Wing was selected to become the new home for the P-51 “Red Nose” by the CAF General Staff in November of 2002.


North American P-51 - History

North American designed and built the P-51 in an unbelievable 117 days. An exceptional long range bomber escort and a fast and furious dog fighter, the P-51 qualified 281 allied pilots as Aces, second only to the Hellcat with 307 Aces. Most P-51s were manufactured in Inglewood, CA and tested over Mines Field, now LAX.

The answer to a fighter pilot’s dream, the Mustang had the ability to fly farther and faster than any other combat aircraft of WWII. The D model sported a new bubble canopy, six .50 caliber Browning machine guns and the new Merlin engine improved its high altitude performance. Two other developments improved the capabilities of the P-51, the G-Suit, which applied pressure to the lower body to increased blood flow to the head, and the K-14 gyroscopic gunsight. This P-51 was a well-known racer and won a string of victories in the Bendix Air Races.

It was procured by Yanks in 1987.

DISPLAY STATUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN CURRENT LOCATION
Eie Verenigde State Legends Hangar
PURPOSE & TYPE MATERIALS ERA & DATE RANGE
Bomber, Fighter Staal Tweede Wereldoorlog
1939 – 1945
PRODUCTION &
ACQUISITION
SPESIFIKASIES SERVICE HISTORY
MFG: Noord-Amerikaanse
First Produced: 1941
Aantal gebou: 15,686 total 7,956 P-51D Models
Bewapening: (6) .50 caliber machine guns in wings, (2) 1,000 lb bombsIt was procured by Yanks in 1987.
Spanwydte: 37’
Vleuelgebied: 233 sq ft
Lengte: 32’3”
Hoogte: 12’2”
Leë gewig: 6,970 lbs
Gross Weight: 10,5000 lbs
Kragsentrale: Packard V1650-7 Merlin 68
Thrust:
Vaarspoed: 362 mph
Maksimum spoed: 437 mph
Reeks: 2,080 miles
Delivered: July 10, 1945

Julie 1945 – 2116th AAF Base Unit (ATC), Napier AAF, AL
Nov 1945 – 2225th AAF Base Unit (ATC), Moody AAF, GA
Mar 1946 – 2537th AAF Base Unit (ATC), Perrin AAF, TX
Nov 1946 – San Antonio Air Material Center, Kelly AAF, TX
Jan 1948 – 195th Fighter Squadron (ANG), Van Nuys AP, CA
Jun 1948 – 188th FS (ANG), Kirtland AFB, NM
Feb 1951 – 188th FS Assigned to Air Defense Command
May 1951 – 188th FS (ADC), Long Beach AFB, CA
Nov 1952 – 354th FS (ADC), Long Beach AFB, CA
Feb 1953 – To Oxnard AFB, CA
June 1953 – 440th FS (ADC) Geiger AFB, WA with a deployment to McChord AFB, WA
Sept 1953 – 116th FS (ANG) Geiger AFB, WA
Jan 1954 – 179th FS (ANG) Duluth AP, MN
Aug 1954 – 112th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (ANG) Akron-Canton AP, OH
Aug 1956 – Sacramento Air Materiel Are, McClellan AFB


All the Way to Berlin with Mustangs

The Supermarine Spitfire could bob and weave, but North American Aviation’s P-51 Mustang was the fighter that could go the distance—and it did, escorting B-17s and B-24s on bombing missions deep inside Germany. When outfitted with external fuel tanks, the Mustang could fly more than 2,000 miles without a refill, but with a top speed of 437 mph, it was more akin to a racehorse than a camel. Four Browning .50- caliber machine guns (increased to six in the P-51Ds) made the Mustang a prodigious dogfighter, though pilots rarely passed up the opportunity to strafe Luftwaffe airfields on their way home from escort missions.

In 1942, a British-initiated upgrade endowed the Mustang with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (built Stateside by Packard) its two-stage supercharger gave the P-51 power up high, where the bombers flew, and made it 50 mph faster.

In August and October 1943, the Eighth Air Force lost so many B-17s during raids that the Allies temporarily suspended long-range bombing. In 1944, newly arrived P-51s gave the Eighth the confidence to again strike deep. After General Jimmy Doolittle ordered fighter squadrons to hunt the enemy interceptors instead of flying close formations with bombers they escorted, P-51 victories rose.

Mustangs were the mounts of the 332nd Fighter Group, the first African American fighter unit, which flew escort missions in Italy during 1944. Commanded by West Point graduate Benjamin O. Davis, the Red Tails—a nickname based on the identification paint on their airplanes—shot down 111 enemy aircraft.

By D-Day—June 6, 1944—the Combined Bomber Offensive from England and Italy had broken the Luftwaffe. Barely able to replace lost aircraft, having to ration fuel, and only marginally able to train replacements for the pilots lost each month, its leaders transferred pilots from the Eastern Front, with little consequence. “I don’t remember anyone who came to us from the East who survived,” recalled fighter commander Kurt Buehligen to historian Christian Sturm in 1985, adding “these fellows simply had no real comprehension of what we were faced with in the air.”


The P-51 Mustang Fighter, a North American Aviation, is one of the most iconic fighter / fighter bombers that is single-seated and was used during World War 2. In total over 15,000 of these were manufactured.

The Mustang was designed originally to be used with the Allison V-1710 engine – making it a very good aircraft. When the B & C models were made of the P-51, they added a Rolls Royce Merlin engine and this completely transformed its performance at high altitude (15,000+ feet) which meant it matched or even bettered that of the Luftwaffe’s fighter jets.

The final version of the P-51 was the P-51D, and this was powered by yet another engine, the Packard V-1650-7, and was fully armed with .50 caliber M2 machine guns (6 in total on each jet).

From late in 1943 P-51’s were used to escort bombers in raids over occupied Europe and over Germany, all the way to Berlin. The P-51’s with the Merlin engines were also used as fighter-bombers which made sure that the Allied ruled supreme in the air in 1944.

The P-51 was also used in service with Allied air forces in Italian, Mediterranean and North African areas of service and also saw action in the Pacific War against the Japanese. Within World War 2, P-51 pilots claim to have shot down 4,950 enemy aircraft.


The P-51D Mustang – A Very Brief History

The P-51 was originally designed for the British who needed more aircraft than they could produce for their fight with the Allies against the Nazis. The United States had not yet joined the fight, but they were assisting with essential supplies including aircraft.

The British Purchasing Commission was negotiating with North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license however NAA preferred to design their own aircraft rather than reproduce an older design.

Remarkably, NAA had the prototype NA-73X airframe ready just 102 days after the contract with the Purchasing Commission was signed. It first flew a little over a month later after fit out.

The first P-51s relied on the Allison V-1710 aero engine however it lacked high-altitude performance compared to the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. This issue was solved with the Packard V-1650-7, this was a license-built version of the Merlin that transformed the P-51, turning it into one of the best fighters of WWII.

Over the course of the war the various iterations of the Mustang would have claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft in Europe, North Africa, the Pacific, and other theatres of war. The Mustang would be put to use in the Korean War until it was largely replaced by jets, but some airforces would keep the Mustang flying well into the 1980s.

Today the Mustang remains a very popular choice with wealthy private owners and air racers, they’re a common sight at events like the Reno Air Races and they’ve typically been modified heavily from their original military configuration to produce even more power.

Images courtesy of Platinum Fighter Sales

Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

This article and its contents are protected by copyright, and may only be republished with a credit and link back to Silodrome.com - ©2021

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Noord-Amerikaanse P-51D Mustang

The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most important aircraft, and arguably the finest all-around fighter type, of World War II. The prototype NA-73X first flew in October 1940. It was designed and built in 120 days in response to an urgent request by the British for a low-altitude fighter/reconnaissance aircraft. It combined the proven Allison V-1710 engine with an innovative cooling system, based on earlier work by the Curtiss Aircraft Company, with laminar-flow wings to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase speed. The U.S. Army Air Forces soon began acquiring their own Allison-powered version and a dive-bombing variant called the A-36 Apache. These first Mustangs were a capable aircraft but much potential remained.

Needing a fighter with better high-altitude performance and following the example of the Curtiss P-40F, North American mated the proven Mustang airframe with the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The result was the P-51B Mustang, a long-range, high-performance fighter-bomber with the range to escort bombers from Britain to Berlin and back again. The famous D model incorporated a bubbletop canopy and a total of six .50-caliber machine guns. In the Pacific, the P-51 escorted B-29s on very long range bombing raids over Tokyo.

P-51s continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force into the Korean War (redesignated F-51) and Air National Guard Units well into the 1950s. Many served in the air forces of other countries into the 1980s. Additionally, highly modified Mustangs have enjoyed great success as air racers. More than 15,000 units of the famous fighter were produced.

Although almost certainly one of the best P-51D restorations in existence, the Museum's aircraft retains a certain mystery as to its history. The aircraft is likely serial number 44-72423, which was built by North American Aviation in 1944. It was accepted by the U.S. Army Air Forces for shipment to Europe for duty with the Eighth or Ninth Air Force. After the war, it was acquired for the Swedish Air Force in 1945 or 1946. The Swedes acquired nearly all of their 100 P-51s from war-surplus U.S. Army Air Forces stockpiles in Germany at the end of World War II, making this airframe a probable wartime veteran.

Last serving operationally with the Israeli Defense Force/Air Force (IDF/AF 146), the aircraft was probably acquired by Israel from surplus Royal Swedish Air Force stocks in 1952. (Unfortunately, when Israel acquired its P-51s, many of them had their original manufacturer's data plates removed.) The Mustang was later acquired by UK citizen Robs Lamplough between 1976 and 1978, then sold to a Canadian broker, and later sold to Jack Erickson in Tillamook, Oregon.

This restored aircraft displays the colors and markings of Lieutenant Colonel Glenn T. Eagleston while he was commanding officer of the 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, flying from Rosières-en-Haye, France in early 1945. This was the same unit of young Lieutenant Kenneth H. Dahlberg. Many years later, Ken Dahlberg, an ace in his own right, was the primary benefactor in the creation of the Kenneth H. Dahlberg Military Aviation Research Center, now the Dahlberg Research Center, here at the Museum. This accurate restoration was completed for The Museum of Flight by the Champion Air Group and the restoration team at Vintage Airframes in Caldwell, Idaho.


Kyk die video: De Amerikaanse Revolutie