This was Gary Levitz' first Mustang which he acquired during the early 1960's. It was operated by the WV Air National Guard until around 1957. It was destroyed in about 1967 in either a takeoff or landing accident when it cartwheeled--destroying one or two other aircraft, and then came to a stop after going through the wall of a hangar. The aircraft was being ferried for Gary by another pilot who was not injured in this accident. The wreckage had been acquired by Richard Ransopher and parts of it have since been used in other restoration projects.
This is P-51D N5478V, 44-73574. Aircraft crashed at Pottstown, Pa. ON 9-5-67. Aircraft was owned by Gary Leviz at that time, but do not know if he was flying when accident occured. Aircraft later sold and parts were used in the rebuild of N6175C, 45-11558.
I took this photo while i was stationed in Beeville Texas in 1963 or 64. The plane at that time was said to be owned by the town mayors son and was parked on the navy base . I watched it fly out when it was sold. It had sat for some time prior to flight and was serviced by navy personal prior to flight. Dennis Morgan.
D H Sparkman
I believe the owner was a Mr. Truman F. Gill who owned the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Beeville, TX.
It was parked on a ramp directly behind my Dad's Construction Office on NAS Chase Field. When the base was reactivated, the Navy allowed the a/c to continue to operate there as the local one-dirt-strip airport wasn't long enough.
Mr. Sparkman was close. The Mustang belonged to my uncle, Lamar Gill, the son of Truman Gill. Lamar was a Naval Aviator and following the war he purchased the Mustang from the US government. He loved to fly and It was his first plane. I have one memory as a small boy sitting in the small area behind him flying to Corpus Christi and back. Chase Field, the Navy base at the time allowed Lamar to keep his plane there. If I remember correctly, the maintenance keeping it flying was beginning to be too much. I also seem to remember when he sold it, it went to the Confederate Air Force which became the Centennial Air Force. My uncle loved this plane, but wanted it with someone that could keep it flying. He continued flying until his death and I had many flights with him in his various planes over the years. I believe his last plane was a twin engine Beechcraft. I would love to see it again.