In 1957, a small group of ex-service pilots pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang, beginning what is now called the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). With the addition of a pair of F8F Bearcats, the CAF became the founders of the Warbird Movement, an effort to preserve and honor our military history with the rallying cry to “Keep ‘Em Flying!” Now, 55 years later, the CAF is the premier Warbird organization, operating 156 vintage aircraft in Honor of American Military Aviation. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 9,000 members operating this fleet of historic aircraft, distributed to 70 units located in 28 states. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000.
CAF P51 Gunfighter
This P51D, serial number 44-72364, was built in the North American Aviation Inglewood, CA plant and accepted by the USAAF in March of 1945. It was shipped to England and assigned to the Mighty Eighth Air Force. By the time the aircraft had been readied for battle, the war had ended and the aircraft saw no battle history.
After the war, the aircraft was shipped to the States where it served in the Army Air Corp until 1947. It was then transferred to the Air National Guard where it served in units in Wyoming, New Mexico, Illinois and Kentucky. In 1957 it was declared surplus and sold on the civilian market.
The aircraft was donated to the Commemorative Air Force with assistance of USAF/CAF Colonel Regis Urschler in 1977. The aircraft was assigned, flown and sponsored by him for 30 years. CAF Colonel (USAF General Ret.), Urschler flew the aircraft in airshows and was one of the first pilots to pioneer the USAF Heritage Flight program. Through his leadership and dedication, the aircraft became one of the most recognized P51’s in the airshow world. In 2003 Col. Larry “Lumpy” Lumpkin joined Col. Urschler as a flying sponsor. After accumulating several thousand hours in the P51, General/Col. Urschler retired in 2007. The aircraft is currently assigned to Col. Larry Lumpkin and is co- sponsored by CAF Colonels Doug Rozendaal and Jeff Linebaugh. It resides at the Great Plains Wing hanger in Council Bluffs, IA. It is maintained primarily by CAF volunteers under the leadership and dedication of Col. Jerry Mason. Jerry’s 30 + years of maintaining and supervision of numerous volunteers has been invaluable.
Gunfighter is available for Life History Flights. For more information, visit p51gunfighter.com or contact Larry Lumpkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-312-4675.
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|North American P-51 “Mustang”||37 feet .5 inches|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|32 feet 9 inches||7300 pounds|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|10,500 pounds||184 Gallons|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|21.2 Gallons||Single 1695 hp Packard Merlin V1650-7 V12 piston engine|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|4 Balde Hamilton Standard with Radias of 11′ 2″||Max DO NOT Exceed 505 mph|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|Six Browning 50 Caliber wing mounted machine guns||Two 1000 lb bombs or Six Rockets|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
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