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ARTIFACT PICK OF THE WEEK: NORTH AMERICAN P-51D MUSTANG

Jul 10, 2013

Evergreen Museum

Written By: Hanna Brandt / Curatorial Intern

Described by one pilot as “elegantly simple and simply elegant”, the P-51D Mustang was a fast, efficient fighter plane used in World War II and the Korean War. The Mustang could fly long distances and escort heavy bombers at a high altitude, making it a respected force in the skies. The first Mustangs were completed just 117 days after being conceived, so some changes were made to improve their speed and functionality. For example, the planes were originally powered by an Allison engine but were later traded for the Packard Merlin, an engine that ensured speed (426 mph), power and maneuverability; making it one of the most effective piston engine fighters.

The P-51D Mustang displayed at the Evergreen Aviation Museum was primarily used in national speed races. After being passed through several different owners, it was discovered that it had less than 400 hours of flying time. It was restored and donated to Evergreen in 1986. Now you know a bit more about the P-51D Mustang!

11 Comments

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Marcia Noell

I thought the Merlin engine was a Rolls-Royce engine. Is the licensed Packard V-1650-7 also referred to as a Merlin?

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>I totally undrsetand what you mean and before my personal tragedy, I was guilty of the same. I now look at things and people with a different set of eyes.I wouldn't worry about what those women thought or didn't think about you. The important thing is that you did what you had to do to get through that situation. If they did judge you, they were wrong. You in no way acted wrongly in that situation.Take care and continue to take one day at a time. That is what I am doing right now, too. May God bring you comfort and peace.God Bless

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No show this week as we are taking a two week break. Please tune into Warbird Radio for a cuople of re-broadcasts of some of our favorite shows. We hope you will join us on Thursday, the 7th of April at 8 pm EST. We hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are. Rob

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Terry Leo

There is a possibility my dad Col. Carl H. Leo flew this airplane during WW2 for the 364th Group Honington Eng.

This was written by a 364th pilot to me today.Dick Baughn FacebookDan,
I sometimes have a problem posting on Facebook, so I’ll send my comment to you. Terry Leo asked about the P-51 with the 364th markings at the Evergreen Museum in Oregon and I know the story about it and the paint job.
A Dallas oilman bought that P-51 to add to the 3 or 4 P-51’s he had and wanted to use the 364th markings. A mutual friend knew that I had been in the 364th and asked me to send a picture of my aircraft to assist with the paint job. After it was painted the oilman flew it down from Dallas to Austin for me to see and took several pictures of me next to it. Later, when the oil market went south, he had to sell it and it eventually was purchased by Evergreen. A week after 9/11, my wife and I went on a Columbia River cruise that started at Portland, Oregon. We had a few days there before the cruise and went to the Evergreen Museum to see the Spruce Goose and low and behold there was the same P-51. I had my pic taken there too and have both pictures if anyone would like to see them. There’s another story about this bird also. The mutual friend also owned a P-51 and was current in it. I mentioned that the 364th was having a reunion in Ohio at the Wright Patterson Air Base. My friend contacted the owner and he agreed to let us fly it back for the reunion. But before we could leave, he found out that his insurance didn’t cover other pilots, so we had to scrub the flight.
dick. I am wondering if you have a serial number for this plane. Thanks, Terry Leo son of Col. Carl H. Leo

Terry Leo

I got this from Jack who is part of the 364th FB GroupJack Cook it is 44-63576 N51DH. It never left the states and was surplused right after WWII and flown in the Cleveland air races has #37 named "Jay Dee" and "Wrath" by both George Welch and Jim Hagerstrom each famous WWII aces. In fact Hagestrom was an ace in WWII and the Korean War. The markings arew a goofed up mish-mash of 364th FG nose markings, 338th FS 55th FG codes of CL+X (to pacify a decent who flew CL+X) and 123rd FIS OR ANG insignia on the tail plus now added invasion stripes. It was restored in the 70s and used mods popular at the times now very frowned upon inc leather interior with ashtrays, recessed wing tip form lights, quick release snaps replacing dzus screws, now powered -724 Merlin from a Northstar transport ect ect. It's a bit long in the tooth and needs a intensive IRAN. The 2 men in TX that owned it were Frank Stricker then Lewis Shaw who sold it to Mike Smith of Evergreen.

Connor Fleetwood

Heard this beautiful girl is leaving the museum, any info?

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