US Army Air Force and US Air Force History of P-51 Mustangs 44-15660 & 44-74202
P-51D-25NA, s/n 44-15660 (the original “Swamp Fox”)
According to USAF records, the P-51D, s/n 44-15660, was manufactured by North American Aviation, Inglewood CA and delivered to the USAAF on 20 Oct 1944. It departed the US by sea on 30 Oct 1944 and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force, England, on 10 Nov 1944. It was disposed as surplus overseas on 16 Jul 1946.
P-51D-25NA, s/n 44-74202 (now painted as s/n 44-15660)
Manufactured by North American Aviation, Inglewood CA and delivered to the USAAF on 7 May 1945.
May 1945 To 445th Fighter Squadron (Fourth Air Force), Bakersfield AAF CA
Jul 1945 To Santa Maria AAF CA
Oct 1945 To 412th Fighter Group (Continental Air Force), Santa Maria AAF
Dec 1945 To 420th AAF Base Unit (CAF), March AAF CA
Feb 1946 To 4160th AAF Base Unit (Air Materiel Command), Hobbs AAF NM (storage)
Jun 1947 To San Antonio Air Materiel Center, Kelly AFB TX (storage)
Jul 1948 To 27th Fighter Group (Strategic Air Command), Kearney AFB NE (to F-51D, deployment to Bergstrom AFB TX)
Mar 1949 To 120th Fighter Squadron (Air National Guard), Buckley Field CO
Nov 1950 To 140th Fighter Wing (ANG), Buckley Field
Apr 1951 To 140th Fighter-Bomber Wing (Tactical Air Command), Buckley Field
May 1952 To Clovis AFB NM
Jan 1953 To 50th Fighter-Bomber Wing (TAC), Clovis AFB
Jul 1953 To 165th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (ANG), Standiford AP KY
Oct 1956 To Sacramento Air Materiel Area, McClellan AFB CA
Sep 1957 Dropped from inventory as surplus
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|North American P-51 “Mustang”||37 feet .5 inches|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|32 feet 9 inches||7125 pounds|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|12,100 pounds||184 gal wing + drop tanks (75 gal or 110 gal, ea)|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|Single 1695 hp Packard Merlin V1650-7 V12 piston engine|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|11′ 2″ Hamilton Standard 4-blade, constant speed||505 mph|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|2400 fpm||270 mph|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|Six 12.7 mm wing mounted machine guns||Two 500 lb bombs or Six Rockets|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
N5420V was purchased by Jack Croul in 2007 and underwent a complete restoration from 2007 to 2012. The restoration was managed by Jeff Harris at Allied Fighters in Chino, California with Mike Breshears of Vintage Airframes in Caldwell, ID doing a majority of the work. Also providing support during the restoration was Fighter Rebuilders (Chino) and Westpac Restorations (Colorado Springs). Roush Aviation in Michigan overhauled the Packard Merlin engine.
After several decades on the ground, N5420V’s first flight after restoration was mid-May 2012. Robert Dickson Sr. and his son Robert bought the plane in June of 2012 and had it painted as the last mount of then Lt. Will Foard – “Swamp Fox” C5-A, 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, based out of Leiston, England.
On December 2, 2012, Lt. Col. Will Foard, USAF (ret), surrounded by family and friends had the opportunity to see this Mustang restored as his during WWII. After lunch, Lt. Col Foard strapped into the rear seat of Swamp Fox and rode with Robert as they flew in formation with two other 357th FG P-51s (Gentleman Jim & Ain’t Misbehavin’).
Swamp Fox Video: http://youtu.be/d9mPGVDL0xU
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