P-51 Mustang Survivors
P-51 Mustang Survivors
44-63701 N26PW "Grim Reaper"
Sal Rubino Jr.
History / Previous Identities:
WWII Vet: Delivered USAAF 11 Nov 44: 8th AF
1945: Apr 15, Delivery to RSwAF as 26015 to F16 wing codes: rM, s15
1952: Sold to Dominican AF as FAD 1904
1984: back to the US, Brian O'Farrell / Johnson Aviation, Miami FL
1987: Vincent Tirado, Miami Fl, restoration
1990: N51VT, Vincent Tirado
1996: N51VT, Johnson Aviation
1996: N51VT, Bengt Kuller
1999: Jan 27, N26PW, Plane Works Inc., Rockford IL, restoration as red noser VF X
1999: flown and put on display at Reno '99
2000: Mar 20, N26PW, Sal Rubino Jr., San Jose CA
2000: Repainted as 44-63702 "Grim Reaper" of 9th AF
Flown by Capt Lowell K. Brueland, 355th FS, 354th FG, 9th AF.
2000: Finished, days before Oshkosh airshow
Col. Brueland was present for pictures, stories, autographs
2000: September - Col. Brueland was present at Reno for a 354th FG reunion and was able to come to the Reno Air Races on one of the days. He stopped by the P-51 and signed many photographs that were given out to wanting spectators. Again he was very helpful and a delight to be around.
2005: seen at a few airshows on the west coast, still a crowd favorite
2007: raced as stocker at Reno in September. Curt Brown was the pilot. This P-51 missed the GML in Ohio because of a rough running Merlin just weeks before the trip.
2008: Aug - Col Brueland and some of the remaining members of the 354th Fighter Group met in Hollister for a great day. Several P-51s were present as well as a P-40 to say thanks to these veterans.
2010: raced as stocker with Dan Martin at the stick. Ended the week in the Silver!
2012: Jul 02, Col. Brueland passed away - We are losing our greatest generation. It is now 67 years since the end of WWII. Not many of our beloved Legends left. If you meet one, shake their hand and tell him how much we appreciate their sacrifices during and after the war.
2015: Reno Air Races - Sal Rubino and Dan Martin share flying duties. Sal Rubino is Silver Champion! Congrats Sal!
84 Images of 44-63701 N26PW "Grim Reaper" on file
Curtis Fowles MustangsMustangs
Lowell K. Brueland
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