This P-51D Mustang served in the European theatre flown by Lt Charles Koenig who named it Little Horse. In May of 1944, Ken Dahlberg arrived in England on a troop ship and was assigned to the 354th Fighter Group. The only problem was that he had been practicing in a P-47, and the squadron he was assigned to flew P-51 Mustangs. His total training on the P-51 was a half-hour orientation flight but six months into his flying career, he was 23rd on the list of all the fighter aces in Europe, making him a triple ace. It was the memories of Ken Dahlberg who inspired the Paul Ehlen to paint this rebuild in the scheme of Little Horse.
By the winter of 1944, Dahlberg had crashed two planes and escaped enemy capture on both occasions. On his third crash, he wasn’t quite so lucky. Dahlberg’s fellow pilots saw he had a direct hit from an .88 and reported him as probably killed in action. Dahlberg had a hard landing and tried to escape, but ended up in a German prison camp until Patton’s Third Army liberated the POW camp.
After D-Day the 354th Fighter Group moved to France from their base in England. To show respect and friendship to the French, Koenig decided to rechristen his aircraft Le Petite Cheval which made the locals very happy.