Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LukeFF

Mixed usage of P-51 B/Cs and P-51Ds in USAAF squadrons

Recommended Posts

I need some clarification on the mixed usage of P-51 B/Cs and P-51Ds in USAAF squadrons in the USAAF's Ninth Air Force. I am aware of razorback P-47s being used alongside bubbletop P-47s up until the end of the war in Europe, but I'm not certain about the same sort of thing in P-51 units. Was it standard practice to have both types of P-51s in Ninth AF P-51 squadrons? I've seen mixed types in Eighth AF squadron photos, but Ninth AF is a bit of a mystery to me. 

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I read, wich I can't support rn, the Ninth AF didn't use mix types. They moved to the Bubbletop versions once they were already based in France. I don't know if this can help or can point you towards a good source, sorry Luke!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t know if this info could help you I found on americanairmuseum.com three photographs showing a mixed formation of seven P-51 B and D from 356th FS, 354th FG, Ninth AIr Force, five of them with invasion stripes.

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/unit/55
 

 "P-51D AJ-V is sandwiched between P-51B's AJ-E 'Bo-Yo' and AJ-D. 356FS, 354FG, 9AF" :

8607F07A-48B3-482E-B40A-388893036971.thumb.jpeg.b59af267effc19d3c56d8e5f5e066256.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was very normal to have mixed units of P-51B/C/D aircraft in both the 8th and 9th AF fighter units during the summer of 1944.  P-51D's began appearing in late May and early June.  The first D loss I can find a record of was Major James Goodson's P-51D (4th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force), which went down due to flak on June 20th, 1944 (Goodson was captured).  Some other D models appear from other groups in late June and early July, and B and C model losses continue to pop up well into September/October.  The 20th, 55th and 364th Fighter Groups converted from P-38s to P-51s in July of 44 and seem to have received mostly D model aircraft, but all seem to have gotten a few B/Cs.

 

The 354th Fighter Group took General Eisenhower on a tour of the front lines on July 4th of 1944, using a P-51B that had been converted to add a second seat.  Richard Turner had to abort on this mission flying a brand new D model.

 

The 363rd Fighter Group appears to have received D models in July, and losses of both B/C and D models were recorded in late July and early August, sometimes on the same day.

Edited by KW_1979
added some additional detail
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Luke,

 

D models were received and rotated in pretty much the same way whether it we're talking 8th or 9th Air Force, as they were under the same constraints, procedures, aircraft arriving in spurts etc. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luke, consulting the 354th FG group-history by Steve Blake, just a couple of samples of aircraft lost (american dates), which probably is the easiest way of establishing mixed fleets:

 

P-51B-10

42-106712 LIA 10-29-44

 

P-51C-1

42-103313 LIA 10-29-44

 

P-51C-10

42-103687 LIA 11-28-44

42-103798 LIA 10-22-44

 

P-51D-5

44-13328 LIA 07-17-44

44-13560 LIA 10-14-44

44-13581 LIA 11-21-44

44-14045 LIA 09-28-44

 

I think it's pretty safe to say there was a good deal of mixing in the 354th. The mixing of course went away after the switch to Jugs and then re-equipping with fresh D-model Mustangs in early '45. There seem to have been no D-15s with the 345th FG. Correction: The color-section shows one example of a D-15.

 

Checking the 363rd FG group-history by Kent Miller, I can see D-5s being LIA in late July '44 and B-10s being lost in late August '44.

The 363rd FG stood down on September 4th 1944 and became the 363rd TRG.

 

The issue of mixing in 9th AF units is a bit different to the early adopters of P-51s over in the 8th, because there was a good deal of aircraft-transitions going on in the 9th. The two "original" Mustang groups of the 9th were either transitioned to another mission (363rd) or had an intermezzo with Jugs (354th). The other unit to become acquainted with Mustangs (the 370th) transitioned in early '45 and got new or new'ish D-models. The same amounts for the 354th, which wouldn't get their original fastback models back when retransitioning to Mustangs.

Edited by Bremspropeller
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff, guys, thanks! I had a look in America's Hundred Thousand, and it gives a date of June 1944 as to when the 8th AF starting receiving P-51Ds "in quantity."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2020 at 12:22 AM, LukeFF said:

Good stuff, guys, thanks! I had a look in America's Hundred Thousand, and it gives a date of June 1944 as to when the 8th AF starting receiving P-51Ds "in quantity."

 

It's going to add another dimension to the sim...similarly with the Razorback Jugs mixed in on the Rhineland map.

I think it's worth talking with Jason and getting a Bodney'esque base squeezed into the outer edge of the map since it's cut off.

 

That way a 352nd career can start in Normandy, and continue into BobP.

Man...I always make so much sense. 😆

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...