In 1977 Waldon "Moon" Spillars recovered 43-6006 from a remote mountainous area of Alaska. 006 had crashed there on 16 Feb 1944, killing her pilot Lt. Edward W. Getter of the USAAF. Spillars embarked on a difficult restoration with not many P-51A parts to be found. He ended up using many parts from P-51Ds to finish the restoration. Polar Bear flew in 1985 for the first time since the 1944 crash.
Jerry Gabe bought Polar Bear from Moon Spillars in 1995 and moved her to Hollister CA. At that time Hollister had several P-51s and an Allison powered P-51 was nice to hear amongst all the Merlins. Jerry flew her to airshows and gatherings on the west coast. He also had Dan Martin ferry her to shows at times. After a while, Jerry turned the flying duties over to veteran test pilot Dave Morss. Dave flew and raced Polar Bear from 2005.
Polar Bear has been moved to Syracuse Kansas to be with her proud new owner, John Dowd.