Test your P-51 memory, knowledge and research ability!
by Dick Phillips
Kyburz, Scheil, Johansen, Koelich
Martin / Swiss Mustangs
Hi this could be 44-84857 that was part of a 35-ship deployment from George AFB, CA to Iceland during late August 1952 with the 131st FBG 192nd FBS, later assigned to the 109th FIS MN ANG, to N7343C; reportedly through Cavalier and sold to the Salvadorean Air Force in July 1969, fate unknown. Cheers Martin
You are right I think Martin, as this was the Mustang that never made it to the war. There was a black P-51 that ditched off of Tampico on the trip south, and by process of elimination, this was the only black one. I wonder if she is still there?
T J Johansen
Yes, this is N7343C. It was Black w/ red/white trim at the time if I'm not mistaken. It went to El Salvador according to the article in Air Classics. By the way, has the identity of the individual who wrote the article ever come to light? I have heard several versions, but never anything conclusive! T J Johansen Oslo, NORWAY
How reliable is the article? Some of the recently published articles minimize the role played by the additional Mustangs in actual combat operations, i.e. before 18 July 1969. Cheers Marc
I spotted N7343C at Miami Int on april 12, 1970. Jaap Zwart; The Netherlands.
B J Baldursson
44-84857 is not on the list of the 25 Mustangs which actually were deployed to Iceland in 1952. 10 aircraft out of the 35 aircraft which were readied for the journey to Iceland, were left behind in the USA.
According to written personal notes from Col. Robert W. Gruenhagen (flight chief, line chief and quality control inspector of the F-51 Mustangs stationed at Keflavik airbase in 1952) the following 25 Mustangs were deployed to Iceland:
Col. Robert W. Gruenhagen is the author of “Mustang – The Story of the P-51 Fighter” Arco, N.Y., Revised edition (1976), ISBN-10: 0668039124, ISBN-13: 978-0668039123 and a well-known expert on the P-51.