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Mystery P-51B Mustang : 354thFG, then 10thTRG.

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Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 11:38:19 (permalink)
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Hello Rick,
You may have it .
I checked Buckner and could find no claims for him.
The ref to GQ-T  and the one and a half claims.
Dalglish in GQ-T had one half as destroyed in late december 43.
And again in GQ-T one Bf110 destroyed in Late January 44.
His next claim for a/c destroyed was in early June 44 in GQ-A.
So if the a/c GQ-T was the same serial number we have then that the one.
Just a thought, could it be that some of the other pilots that may have flown the a/c GQ-T in the photo, if they scored a victory and then made claims and as they were not in their assigned a/c would they then have the victory mark put on their assigned a/c and not on the one they scored the victory in ? Hence the reason that only the one and a half scores are worn by the a/c GQ-T.
All for now
Alex
Paul E.
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 12:44:15 (permalink)
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Everything about the A/C GQ*T seems in perfect agreement with the mystery plane except for the bottom of the letter that one can see above the tail wheel door, which I still maintain is the serif of a G.  It could be the same plane but the G was changed to a T for some reason.
The other troubling thing is the tail number which must be either 43-36638 or 43-6638 , neither of which fit within the lot of P-51B-1-NA originally sent to to the RAF but never put into service before being transferred to the 354th FG on 30 Dec 1940 & 1 Jan, 1944.  This production run spanned Tail numbers 43-12093 to 43-12492.  See Joe Baugher's seriel number search site:  http://cgibin.rcn.com/jer...t=3-12408&content=
The puzzle continues.
 
Paul
Paul E.
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 13:50:12 (permalink)
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A few more thoughts;  GQ*T is missing machine guns and the space behind the pilot's armor plate seems filled with machinery.  This is where one of the cameras in a F-5 photo recon A/C would be.  This is consistent with it having been converted after the previous pilot had scored his victories and missions, and the plane had been transferred to a PRG.  It would account for the subsequent pilot having no record of kills.
 
Paul
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 15:41:39 (permalink)
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 Hi Alex and Paul
guns are taped over.There is a darker patch of color where they should be.
As for another code,maybe the photo Martin posted looks like a area behind to the right of the "T" is a different color of newer paint.
43-36638 was a P-51B-7.
Lt. Long was TDY from 4/44 to 7/44 so others might have used it.
He was an orignal pilot of the 355FS.
 
Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 16:29:21 (permalink)
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Hello Rick,
43-36638 was a P-51B-7. ?
Odd, I found it to be a Hadrian Glider ?
There was 42-106638 with the 361 FG that crashed on 22 June 45 in the UK and has since been found  and rebuilt to be N5087F (in 2006).
There is also the chance that at some time in between the photos the Rudder might have been replaced with one from another a/c and we would then have a False number?
All for now
Alex
 
post edited by Alex Smart - 2011/07/05 12:07:04
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 16:40:42 (permalink)
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Thanks for all these new infos !
The tip of the spinner seems to have been repainted, too: any idea ?
Jean.
rickpeck2
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 17:43:34 (permalink)
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Sorry Alex got carried away with my "3"'s. 43-6638.
In a hurry I guess.
Have been painting the fence and coming back here ,sorry I guess I rather be on here than painting the fench in 90plus heat.
The best way to look up a serial number on a WW2 P-51B,C,D and K is add a 4 in front of what is painted on the plane's fin/rudder,then again you knew that.
As everyone is thinking this plane lasted a long time and these are some cool photo's .
I will be interested in what it looked like in 10th PRG.
Rick
 
 
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/03 22:30:15 (permalink)
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Yet one more piece of the puzzle;  GQ*T seems to have something unusual going on just behind the bottom of the T that is approximately where the lower of the two cameras on a F-6C PRG plane would be.  It might well be a camera with gun tape over the window for protection. 
Leaving no stone unturned, Paul
Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/04 21:41:18 (permalink)
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Hello,
For interest.
I checked out the RAF/USAAF a/c serial links.
Those in the 43-66## range that were in the RAF's FB,FZ and SR serial range were
43-6600 to 6618 (FZ179 to FZ197); 43-6659 to 6683 (FB100 to FB124) and
43-6696  was SR429. 
I further checked out "Support & Strike" (9th AAF book) for details on the 354th FG.
The Group moved from England to France(Criqueville) from 17th June 44.
They had a black tail band and spinner as well as the blue/white checkered nose band.
 
So unless it was 43-6638 or 42-106638, perhaps its down to a rudder change at some point in time before the photos were taken. In which case we would need a close up of the details below and forward of  the cockpit area for the true identity?
Alex
post edited by Alex Smart - 2011/07/05 10:40:23
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/05 10:07:50 (permalink)
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Interesting.
While going through Mr. Blakes 354 FG book there were some that were "EX RAF" .
Most are in the P-51B-1 range serial number starting 312??? ,this is going by what is painted on the plane or 43-12???.
The photo is of serial number 43-6638 not 43-6683.
Here is a link to a 354 FG web sight if interested .
http://www.354thpmfg.com/
Rick
 
 
 
Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/05 10:22:30 (permalink)
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Hello,
Looks like I got "83" and "38" mixed up in the late hours.
I have adjusted post 29 above and deleted the erroneous details.
 
So, it can only be one of 43-6638 or 42-106638
41-36638 was a Grasshopper L-4A
42-36638 was a P40E
43-36638 was a Hadrian CG-4A
41-6638 was a P47C
42-6638 was a Hudson IV
Alex
post edited by Alex Smart - 2011/07/05 10:44:02
Paul E.
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/05 10:56:21 (permalink)
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From my research it can only be 43-6638 which of course would appear as 36638 in the photo of GQ*T.  36638 would have been a P51B-5-NA from a block of 800 A/C whose tail numbers ranged from 43-6313 through 43-7112.  There was never a number 43-36638 and none of the P51Cs produced would have had a number anything like the one we are looking for.  Joe Baugher's site, unfortunately, shows a two number gap - 36637 & 36638 - in the numbers.  Perhaps someone has better information.
Paul
Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/05 11:43:05 (permalink)
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Hello Rick,
Thanks for the pointer.
RAF returns in the range of RAF serial numbers I listed in the earlier post were many.
43-
12113;12122;12124;12126;12145;12147;12222;12223;12227;12264;
12308;12309;12313;12315;12319;12320;12321;12322;12368;12372;12375;
12380;12383;12430;12433;12434;12435;12437;12438;12439;12441;12442;
12443;12444;12446,(35).
It is recorded that 35 were returned ( details of further USAAF service ?) in exchange for 34 P51B's and 1 P51C, RAF serial numbers SR406-434, 436-440 and SR435. 
The SR serials are not listed as under the Lend-Lease agreement. But the serial matches were:
SR406 - 43-12161                         SR421 - 43-12399                            SR436 - 42-106478
SR407 - 43-12407                         SR422 - 42-106637                          SR437 - 42-106431
SR408 - 43-12412                         SR423 - 42-106685                          SR438 - 43-7007
SR409 - 43-12473                         SR424 - 42-106630                          SR439 - 43-12470
SR410 - 43-12484                         SR425 - 43-6823                              SR440 - 43-7159
SR411 - 43-12427                         SR426 - 42-106687
SR412 - 43-7014                           SR427 - 43-7071
SR413 - 43-12189                         SR428 - 43-7144
SR414 - 43-12177                         SR429 - 43-6695
SR415 - 43-7069                           SR430 - 43-7171
SR416 - 43-6831                           SR431 - 43-6829
SR417 - 43-12155                         SR432 - 43-12420
SR418 - 43-12183                         SR433 - 43-7152
SR419 - 43-12456                         SR434 - 43-7135
SR420 - 43-12480                         SR435 - 42-103209
 
Also 43-6542 (FZ161) was turned over to the USAAF in the UK and replaced by 42-103500.
While 43-6352 (FX992) crashed in the USA before delivery, no info on if she was repaired and put into USAAF service.
 
Of interest there were two Mustang Mk.IV's serial numbers were TK586 and TK589, but USAAF numbers are not known to me and I could not see them in the JB site.

Refs were: AAIR website, accident report.con,  Joe Baughers website and the Air Britain RAF Series of books.
 
Back to the "6638" problem.
42-106638 was involved in an accident in the UK on 22nd June 1945 while with the 376th FS, 361st FG. When was she assigned to the Group/Squadron ? From the details in "Little Friends" website, she was "E9-B" , "Eva" and also "E9-R", "Impatient Virgin", photo(credited to Craig Quattlebaum in "Little Friends") shows "Eva" in N/M finish but she has a Malcolm Hood. 
So meanwhile we are left with
43-6638 or a rudder change.
Alex
post edited by Alex Smart - 2011/07/05 13:42:55
Paul E.
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/06 12:25:56 (permalink)
+1 (1)
So, in my view, this is where this mystery stands:
1.  We have three photos of P51B/Cs, two of which clearly bear the squadron code GQ, the code of the 355th Fighter Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group.  The third - the mystery A/C - shows portions of the same code.  Two of the A/C show the A/C identification letter G in the code, and one of these A/C letter T.           
2.  We have two planes - the mystery A/C GQ*G and GQ*T - that have a "shark's mouth" painted on the nose with a row and a half of bomb symbols and a victory and a half of aerial credits.  Both A/C have invasion stripes.
3.  One of the GQ*G planes looks in pristine condition, without any markings whatsoever, except the unit code and the tail number 312408 (43-12408).  This is almost certainly one of the almost 400 P51-B-1-NAs that were delivered to the RAF, not put into service, and then delivered to the AAC at the end of December of 1943.
4.  A/C GQ*T has the tail number 36638 (43-6638) which indicates that it is a P51-B-5-NA.  This is the only possible serial number for it given the numbers clearly visible; 36638.  If it had had another number before the 3 it would have to have been another 3, and there is no 43-36638.
Therefore, either GQ*T can't be the same plane as the mystery plane GQ*G, or the pristine GQ*G 43-12408 isn't the same plane as the sharks mouth GQ*G whose tail number we don't know.
Given that the various markings of the mystery plane and GQ*T seem so identical except for the nose ring and spinner, both easily changed, I would conclude that the pristine GQ*G is not the same A/C and had the G changed to some other letter very soon after that photo was taken and that the mystery GQ*G is in fact the same plane as GQ*T and the letter G was changed to T for some reason.  It may be that the code GQ*G was kept in the squadron and that the GQ*G code was transferred to a P51-D or later a P-47.  I don't think a rudder change would have happened without changing the tail number to the correct one, the tail number being absolutely fixed, while the squadron plane identification letter is arbitrary.
Paul
post edited by Paul E. - 2011/07/06 16:20:45
Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/07 00:15:40 (permalink)
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Hello Paul,
As I noted in post 31 above, there WAS a 43-36638 it was a Hadrian Glider.
 
You are right that the photo of Mustang "GQ-T" and the Photo of "GQ-G" are of two different aircraft.
This was explained in the text in an earlier post, the photo of "GQ-G" was only shown to give an example of the  roundness of the  "G" in the "GQ" Squadron code letters . Not to show the photos were of one aircraft at two stages in its life.
 
The possiblility of the rudder being from another aircraft is a valid one as the interchange would show part of another a/c's serial number prior to the rudder being repainted and if it was photographed befor the repaint it would show a false number.
 
As both 43-6638  and 42-106638 histories seem to be both well recorded and unless more is found out of them  the rudder change is the only other possibility in my opinion. 
 
Also with 42-106638, if this is the aircraft in the "GQ-T" photo then there is the Malcolm Hood and N/M finish as seen in the photo in "Little Friends" website, this canopy may have been fitted and camouflage stripped off after the "GQ-T" photo was taken if it is the same aircraft, again a possibility.
   
Or it may well be that it is indeed  43-6638 after all and that this part of her history has been missed out until now. 
Alex
Paul E.
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/07 10:32:00 (permalink)
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Alex,  When I posted the pristine GQ*G 43-6638 I did it to show the serif and shape of the letter G but then, having not yet seen GQ*T 43-6638, I realized that it might actually be the same A/C.  Now I don't think that can be the case.
When I said that there was no plane with a tail number of 43-36638 I meant there was no P51 of any model that we might confuse with the mystery plane.
I think the answer to GQ*G (the mystery plane) being changed to GQ*T will be found when we learn more about the squadron transitioning to P51-D or later models which took the plane identification letters of the planes they replaced.  The original GQ*G, P-51-B-1-NA might then have become a non-combatant "Hack" and given the letter T.
 
All very conjectural, of course.
 
Paul
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/07 16:10:39 (permalink)
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I just found a video of GQ*G (and others from the 354th FG) taking off from a grass strip in January, 1944.  The plane looks very freshly painted and not at all like the battle worn mystery plane; without the invasion stripes (of course), bomb symbols, kills or shark's teeth.  Unfortunately, I can't make out the tail number.  Drat!  There are a couple of frames of it at 2:00 minutes into the film.  Before that segment the film also shows a plane marked GQ*2 (looks to me like 43-12155 or 43-12145 - last two numbers not clear).  Seeing a number rather than a letter for the plane identification surprised me. Here's the site where you can see it: http://www.criticalpast.c...by_P-51-lands-on-field
Toward the end of the film a half dozen planes are shown streaking playfully above dense cloud cover toward the camera. 
 
Paul
post edited by Paul E. - 2011/07/08 12:11:50
Paul E.
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/08 18:38:46 (permalink)
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I see that the P51-D models were in use in August through November of 1944, about a year after the squadron first had the B models.  My hypothesis is that the squadron may have transferred the code GQ*G to a P51-D model when they were introduced, and kept the mystery GQ*G but changed the plane identification letter to one not in use; a T, hence, the GQ*T plane.  More speculation not likely to be resolved.
Paul 
Alex Smart
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/10 21:09:57 (permalink)
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Hello Paul,
Just to say that I looked again at the a/c used by Brueland as listed by a/c leter in the website link in the earlier post.
His a/c were : "GQ-N";"U";"H";"X";"K";"D";"Q";"E";"V";"F".
serial numbers for some a/c that wore those letters were:
"N", 42-103326
"U", 43-6737
"H", 43-12209
"X", 43-6331
"K", 43-12443
"D", 43-12264
"Q", 43-12113 and 42-106445
"E", 43-6359, 42-106935 and 43-6764
"V", 43-12458, 43-6320 and 43-7136
"F", I could not find any .
also I came accross
"GQ-T".... 43-6441.... MACR 9426 .... 26/4/1944
"GQ-T"....42-103333....MACR 6291 .... 17/6/1944
"GQ-G"....43-12408.... nothing further known
"GQ-G"....42-106737....MACR 8499.... 8/8/1944
"GQ-G"....44-20287....MACR 10992.... 18/12/1944 (P-47)
And these two "Z's" both lost on the same day, 12/10/1944.
"GQ-Z"....MACR 9228
"GQ-Z"...MACR 9543
The a/c in the photo "T" has invasion markings, the two "T's" in the above list have dates 26th April and 17th June, either side of 6th June "D-Day" so the photo "T" was in use between the two, marked with the black/white stripes for the 6th June and later it would seem had the upper surface stripes overpainted. 
I did also look at what I thought was an "H", is it possible it is the marking used on "Stars looked Down" ? this was I think also used on a later P51D so was not a one off marking ?
Alex
PS: I enjoyed the films, even broused and found ships being loaded pre D-Day at Falmouth, thanks.
 
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Re:Mystery P-51B or C Mustang ? 2011/07/11 21:23:23 (permalink)
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Alex,  I'm very impressed with your research, and also with the variety of planes that Brueland flew in the course of a year plus.  It seems he was eager to go out and lay his life on the line for his country and his passion - flying.  When I see the films on Footnote.com I am filled with envy for the experience of flying such a machine under such conditions, and dread of what I am sure would be blood chilling terror.  It seems many men thrive on the intoxication of it all, and who knows, unless it's been tried in combat, how any of us would handle being in such a position.
 
I'm surprised that there were so many multiples of plane ID letters in so short a period of time.
 
I had a cousin twenty years my senior, who I never met, who flew 55 missions with the 14th FG, 49thFS.  He returned to the states and was sent to Salinas, Kansas, assigned to a bomber unit, only to die in a B17G crash when the plane that he was  co-piloting was struck by lightning.  How ironic for a P-38 pilot.
 
I've tried for several years to find out the serial number of his plane(s) and the codes - and the name he might have given it - without success.  He shot down a Bf 109 during the invasion of Sardinia and another over Sicily.
If you have any suggestions on how to find this information, I would greatly appreciate knowing about it.
Paul
post edited by Paul E. - 2011/07/12 12:28:49
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