The North American P-51 Mustang
P-51 Who?   Case # 289
44-74960     N5459V     Closed
Solved by: Marc Koelich, TJ Johansen, Joe Scheil
P-51 Who 289
Case#: 289
Date: May 16 2004
By: Dick Phillips
Status: Closed
Serial: 44-74960
Registry: N5459V
P-51 Who? Viewer Responses
Marc Koelich
05/17/2004 20:33
44-74960, one of the Mustangs reportedly sold to the Fuerza Aerea Salvadorena in July 1969, but this data might be based on a dubious article published in Air Classics. Generally thought not to have returned from wherever she went, but this site shows her "in storage". I wonder what the original colours were?
T J Johansen
05/27/2004 14:07
Hi Marc, This plane was owned by among others Bill Ross of Chicago. I think it is widely accepted that this bird went south of the border in 1969, but in most cases the paperwork lingered on. Strange, which owner wouldn't report to the FAA on the triannual report that "Oh that plane. I just smuggled it south of the border for use in a war!!!"
Joe Scheil
06/13/2004 06:08
This Mustang I think did make it back, but was not noticed for who she was. Look on the back of the Latin American Mustangs book and you will see the color shot of NL34FF. The orange paint is I believe a remnant of this scheme. The way it would have been applied looks like it is showing through, with some of the original striping present and some sanded off during the aircraft's time in service. Rudder, cowlings and many small parts have either been stripped or replaced. And all those silly antennas! Joe
Marc Koelich
06/15/2004 04:35
Hi all, A couple of additional comments. The NL34FF Mustang on the back of the Dienst/Hagedorn book is FAS-409, generally thought to be the former N5469V, 45-11559. I remember having read on this site that there was an identity swap with 45-11553, N30FF, upon return to the USA If the base colour is indeed red-orange, the black areas with white lining would be a nice match. By the way, the cowlings were fitted to another FAS Mustang. Go to the FAS website,, and look in their "aeronaves del pasado" gallery (sorry for my Spanish). You will see a colour picture of a pilot standing on the wing of a FAS Mustang (not 409, as the camo pattern is different) with a monkeyface badge under the canopy, and the pattern on the cowling is a match to FAS-409's fuselage. Let's hope Dick Phillips will enlighten us when Curtis closes this case.
Case Closed!
P-51 Mustang

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