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P-51 Ident

Old 18th Jul 2022, 18:53
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In Richard E Turner's Book "Mustang Pilot" he says that the Mustang in question was a "war weary" machine that they had modified with the second seat. They used it "Occasionally demostrate tactics to new pilots and give rides to our crew chiefs" They were based at landing strip A-2 on the beachead at Normandy from June 19th 1944. The Eisenhower flight on July 4th 1944 so they could "fly a personal reconnaissance of the Saint-Lo area"


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Old 18th Jul 2022, 21:16
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Just me being dumb, but to be clear we are talking about 2 different P-51s here?

Ser no unknown, code GO-Z, or GQ-Z. 355th FS, 9th Air Force. Modified in the field by removing a fuel tank, fitting a second seat and apparently reusing the cockpit aft-side transparency panels; note that a mechanic has to climb onto the wing to let the General out. Well worn drab paint finish, invasion stripes. Flew Ike as a passenger in France in July 1944.

43-6593, code S-WZ (or probably more correctly WZ-S). 84th FS, 8th Air Force. Modified to 2-seat configuration at a main MRO facility with a bubble type 2nd canopy. Unpainted metal finish before and after repair and retained the same squadron code, presumably not operated across the Channel after its repair as no invasion stripes apparent. Used as a squadron hack.

2 supplementary musings on 43-6593;

Dual control? I'm guessing not, due to the complexity.
Origin of the second canopy? Doesn't look home-made.

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Old 18th Jul 2022, 21:23
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Yes Duncan - 2 different a/c - the one that Ike flew in was a 'field' conversion and once strapped into the rear cockpit he was trapped there with no parachute,the flight presumably taking place from ALG 'A2' (Criqueville) in france.
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Old 18th Jul 2022, 21:25
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The second canopy looks to me like a Malcolm hood which would make sense as they were fitted to some Mustangs, so it presumably would be close to the required shape and size.

Last edited by DHfan; 19th Jul 2022 at 00:30. Reason: Change Malcolm canopy to hood
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 14:23
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I think this is it...

This plane belonged to the 355th Fighter Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group

A-98 Rosieres En Haye, France
Located: 48°46′48″N 005°58′48″E
Now: Toul-Rosières Air Base (BA 136)
Opened: 21 November 1944 Closed: 22 May 1945
Runway: 5000x120, PSP, (03/21)[1]
Used by:[5]
354th Fighter Group, 1 December 1944 – 8 April 1945


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Old 19th Jul 2022, 19:49
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You would have to specify which 'plane' you mean WB as 2 different a/c are under discussion.
The P51 B conversion that Ike flew in was probably flown from ALG 'A2' (Criqueville) - where the 354th FG was operating from in June/July 1944.
Ike's flight in this P51 B was 4th July 1944.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 06:14
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Also just to clarify for anybody else joining the discussion on page 2,the youtube video I posted on the previous page had been captioned incorrectly by the youtube channel uploader,Eisenhower's P51 flight was 4th July 1944 and was to reconnoitre the St Lo area in preparation for the break out from St Lo - nothing to do with the 'Bulge' which was months later in winter.
Always best to cross check any info gleaned from TV/youtube/internet
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 13:46
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On reflection, it did look a bit sunny for the winter of 1944
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