Amerika Utara P-51

Amerika Utara P-51

Amerika Utara P-51

Perintah USAAF pertama untuk P-51 pada asalnya tidak bertujuan untuk menyediakan pesawat untuk perkhidmatan Amerika. Ketika ditempatkan, pada 7 Julai 1941, kedua Mustang yang diperuntukkan kepada USAAF belum dapat dinilai dengan baik. Sebaliknya, pesanan untuk 150 pesawat sebenarnya bertujuan untuk pergi ke RAF sebagai sebahagian daripada program Lend Lease. Minat USAAF pada masa itu berpusat pada versi serangan darat pesawat A-36.

Ketika ujian menunjukkan betapa baiknya Mustang, USAAF menyimpan 57 pesawat ini. Dua digunakan untuk mengembangkan P-51B bertenaga Merlin, sementara 55 pesawat yang tersisa diberi kamera, dan digunakan dalam peran pengintaian taktikal, di bawah sebutan F-6A. Unit Amerika pertama yang menggunakan P-51 dalam perkhidmatan aktif adalah Skuadron Pemerhatian ke-154, dari pangkalan di Tunisia, pada bulan April 1943.

P-51 dikuasakan oleh enjin Allison V-1710-39, dan dipersenjatai dengan empat meriam 20mm, dua di setiap sayap.


Amerika Utara P-51 - Sejarah

Oleh Kelly Bell

Darwin, Australia, panas walaupun pada pertengahan musim sejuk. Pada petang 12 Julai 1942, empat juruterbang Kumpulan Angkatan Udara Angkatan Udara A.S. (USAAF) yang baru ditempatkan naik ke kokpit pejuang mesin tunggal Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk mereka dan turun untuk misi latihan. Anak-anak muda itu adalah Letnan J.B. "Jack" Donalson dan Lts ke-2. John Sauber, Richard Taylor, dan George Preddy, Jr.

Serangan udara Jepun baru-baru ini melanda kawasan itu, dan kuartet pesawat udara ini disiapkan untuk melakukan sesuatu mengenainya. Preddy dan Taylor mengupas dan memainkan peranan sebagai pengebom Jepun Imperial sementara Donalson dan Sauber melatih kemahiran memintas mereka dengan membuat serangan palsu pada rakan mereka, tetapi ada yang tidak kena. Matahari mungkin telah membutakan Sauber atau, sebagai pemula dia, dia mungkin salah menilai jarak antara pesawatnya dan Preddy. Dia menunggu terlalu lama untuk menarik diri dan menabrak ekor Preddy sejauh 12,000 kaki, menyebabkan kedua-dua mesin itu jatuh.

Preddy berjaya menyelamatkan diri pada saat terakhir, tetapi kokpit Sauber nampaknya macet. Dia terbunuh akibat hentaman. Parut Preddy retak beberapa saat sebelum dia turun di pohon gusi tinggi yang menghancurkan parasut dan menyuruhnya menerobos dahan ke tanah.

Mejar George Preddy, Jr.

Leftenan Clay Tice kebetulan lewat di P-40 miliknya dan melihat kecelakaan itu. Dia memancarkan koordinatnya ke lapangan terbang berdekatan, dan awak kapal Lucien Hubbard dan Bill Irving melompat ke dalam trak dan berlari ke bantuan Preddy yang cedera parah. Pemuda itu mengalami patah kaki dan luka dalam bahu dan pinggulnya. Dia berdarah ketika mekanik mengantarnya ke rumah sakit. Setelah sesi lama di bilik operasi, pakar bedah pangkalan melaporkan bahawa jika tidak kerana tindak balas segera rakan-rakannya, Preddy akan cepat mati. Ini bukan kali terakhir dia menjadi mangsa kesalahan sendiri.

Setelah pulih lama, Preddy dipindahkan ke 352 Fighter Group, yang dihantar kapal Queen Elizabeth ke Scotland's Firth of Clyde pada 5 Julai 1943. Walaupun masih hijau, dia adalah salah satu lelaki paling berpengalaman dalam pakaian itu. Hampir semua juruterbang lain masih segar dari sekolah penerbangan, dan pengalaman sederhana Preddy tidak banyak bermakna kerana dia harus melupakan kerjanya dengan P-40 dan mula belajar menerbangkan pejuang Republik P-47 Thunderbolt. Setelah tidak bersedia setahun penuh, dia berusaha untuk bertindak dan sudah tahu apa yang akan disebutnya sebagai pesawat perang barunya. Seorang penjudi biasa, dia percaya berteriak "Cripes A 'Mighty!" membawanya bernasib baik ketika dia membuang dadu. Tangisan permainan omong kosong ini akan dilukis pada setiap mesin yang diterbangkannya.

Kemenangan Pertama untuk Preddy

Ditugaskan ke lapangan terbang Bodney, yang ke-352 memulakan penerbangan terbang untuk peluru dan peluru bahan bakar Thunderbolts dari Kumpulan Fighter ke-56 dan ke-353 ketika mereka kembali dari misi pengiring. Ini memberi sedikit tindakan kepada Preddy dan rakan-rakannya, tetapi serangan bom strategik Sekutu hanya mencapai tahap serius dan mahal.

14 Oktober 1943 masih dikenali sebagai "Black Thursday." Ia adalah hari di mana Preddy adalah antara 196 juruterbang Thunderbolt yang kecewa yang tangki bahan bakarnya hampir kosong memaksa mereka untuk kembali ke Britain sama seperti sekumpulan pesawat udara Luftwaffe yang berpengalaman dan oportunis merobek formasi pengebom Tentera Udara Kelapan yang menghampiri karya galas bebola Schweinfurt. Pengebom Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress dan Consolidated B-24 Liberator jatuh seperti kepingan salji, menjadikannya jelas bahawa Thunderbolt yang menyalakan bahan bakar tidak sesuai sebagai pejuang pengawal jarak jauh. Untuk sementara waktu, ia adalah pesawat terbaik yang ada.

Musim luruh tahun 1943 sangat penting dalam perang udara ke atas Eropah Barat ketika Sekutu berusaha menumpahkan pengebom ke langit di Reich Ketiga lebih cepat daripada yang dapat ditembak oleh Jerman. Walaupun kadar pembunuhannya tinggi berbanding burung besar, Luftwaffe juga menderita dengan kuat. Pada 1 Disember, Preddy memperoleh kemenangan pertamanya ketika dia membakar pejuang Messerschmitt Me-109 Jerman menyerang pengebom yang kembali dari serangan di Solingen. Lapan senapang berkaliber lapan .50 Cripes A'Mighty hampir menghancurkan pemintas. Prady 487th Fighter Squadron adalah satu-satunya dari Kumpulan ke-352 yang berjaya menjaringkan sebarang pembunuhan pada hari itu, tetapi masih banyak lagi yang datang.

Pada 22 Disember, kumpulan itu keluar untuk menemui 574 pengebom yang kembali dari menghancurkan halaman paya di Munster dan Onabruck. Sayap sayap Preddy adalah pemain piano konsert muda berbakat bernama Richard R. Grow. Pasangan ini terpisah dari sisa penerbangan mereka ketika mereka terjun dalam pertempuran udara yang besar dan bingung di tebing awan besar di sebelah timur Zuider Zee. Muncul dari dasar kumulus mereka mendapati diri mereka sendiri dan mula naik untuk bergabung semula dengan formasi pengebom.

Memasuki waktu rehat di awan mereka mengintai 16 orang Messerschmidts yang menyerang B-24 yang merokok. Preddy membakar orang Jerman yang paling dekat dengan pengebom itu dan kemudian terjun ke dalam keadaan mendung. Anehnya, para pencegat yang lain berpaling dari pengebom dan berlepas setelah sepasang Thunderbolts. Cripes A'Mighty 13,000 paun dengan mudah mengalahkan pengejarnya, tetapi mereka jelas mengejar Grow. Dia tidak pernah berjaya keluar dari awan. Namun, Liberator yang lumpuh, Lizzie, berjaya pulang. Preddy dicadangkan untuk Cross Service yang Cemerlang untuk episod ini tetapi sebaliknya mendapat hiasan ketiga tertinggi di Amerika, iaitu Silver Star.

Penyelamat Laut Berisiko di Preddy

Selepas ribut ais Krismas menyerang Benua Eropah, membatalkan operasi udara utama oleh kedua-dua belah pihak. Pada 29 Januari 1944, cuaca cukup lama sehingga sekumpulan 800 pengebom menyasarkan kompleks industri Frankfurt-an-der-Main. Ketika ke-487 terbang untuk bertemu formasi yang kembali, Preddy menembak jatuh FW-190 di atas pantai Perancis tetapi terlalu rendah di atas lubang serpihan dan mengalami serangan langsung. Dia berjaya memujuk Cripes A'Mighty yang merokok hingga 5.000 kaki, tetapi kemudian pesawat berat mulai kehilangan ketinggian.

Mencapai 2.000 kaki, Preddy menyedari dia akan terlalu rendah untuk menyelamatkan diri, jadi dia melompat dan menaikkan kolek bertekanan. Anggota sayapnya, Letnan William Whisner, berisiko kehabisan bahan bakar dengan mengelilingi Preddy dan berulang kali menyalurkan koordinatnya sehingga penyelamatan udara-laut dapat menyatukan kedudukan. Sebuah kapal terbang Tentera Udara Diraja tiba, tetapi di laut yang membeku, kapal itu melintasi Preddy, lebam teruk dan hampir menenggelamkannya. Ketika juruterbang Britain itu cuba melarikan diri, gelombang menghantam pesawat dan melanggar salah satu pontonnya. Ini membuat mustahil untuk dibawa masuk ke dalam gelombang besar, jadi kru harus meminta pelancaran Tentera Laut Diraja untuk menarik kapal terbang yang lumpuh ke pelabuhan. Bagaimanapun, orang Inggeris mempunyai brendi seludup, dan pada saat pelancaran tiba Preddy dan penyelamatnya telah dicairkan dengan baik.

Jatuh cinta dengan Mustang P-51

Tidak lama selepas pembaptisannya yang dingin, Preddy dan yang ke-352 mula beralih ke pesawat tempur P-51 Mustang Amerika Utara yang baru dan segera jatuh cinta dengannya. Pada 22 April, kumpulan itu melakukan misi pengawalan yang berlarutan untuk pengebom menyerang Hamm, Sost, Bonn, dan Koblenz. Antara pengeboman yang dilakukan Preddy dan dua juruterbang lain menyusuri lapangan terbang Luftwaffe di Stade. Mereka secara serentak membuka senjata mereka pada pengebom enjin berkembar Junkers Ju-88 yang baru saja dilepaskan, merobeknya. Setelah membuat laporan mereka kembali di Bodney, ketiga-tiga mereka merasa gembira kerana mendapat kredit pembunuhan 0,33.

Dilukis dengan jalur pengenalan pencerobohan D-Day hitam dan putih, Mustang P-51 yang diterbangkan Mejar George Preddy sambil menjaringkan sebahagian besar pembunuhannya berada di landasan. Pesawat Preddy diberi nama Cripes A'Mighty, merujuk kepada seruan kegemarannya ketika berjudi.

Pada 30 April, Preddy, yang baru dinobatkan menjadi pertarungan besar, menerima pertempuran dengan FW-190 pada ketinggian 17,000 kaki di atas Clermont, Perancis, dengan cepat menyalakan lawannya. Dari titik ini jumlah pembunuhannya meningkat dengan stabil ketika dia dan Cripes A ’Mighty II menjadi lebih dikenali. Ia datang pada masa yang tepat.

Enam Membunuh dengan Hangover

Pencerobohan Normandia sedang berlangsung, dan USAAF menumpukan perhatian untuk meneutralkan penentangan Luftwaffe di Eropah barat laut. Dari 30 April hingga pendaratan D-Day pada 6 Jun, Preddy menurunkan 4.5 pesawat lagi. Pada tahap ini, dia sudah menyelesaikan lawatan tugas 200 jam standard bersama dengan dua pelanjutan 50 jam. Dia boleh pulang tetapi hanya memikirkan apa yang boleh dia lakukan untuk menamatkan perang. Dia memperoleh pelanjutan 50 jam ketiga. Ketika Perancis utara mengalami bencana dengan pertempuran darat pada musim panas 1944, dia melakukan sembilan pembunuhan dari 12 Jun hingga 5 Ogos. Pengembaraan terhebatnya sudah dekat.

Setelah kembali ke pangkalan pada petang 5 Ogos, dia membaca laporan ahli meteorologi yang meramalkan ribut petir untuk keesokan harinya, dan mengumumkan tidak ada penerbangan yang dijadualkan. Itu adalah malam pesta pengikat ikatan perang ke-352, dan Preddy yang lelah dengan pertempuran mempunyai waktu yang riang hingga hampir subuh. Semasa bersuka ria malam tidak ada yang melihat langit membersihkan. Wira muda itu terbangun sebelum tidur. Dua puluh minit kemudian seorang pembantu membangunkannya dengan berita bahawa serangan bom telah dijadualkan, dan dia dijadwalkan sebagai pemimpin penerbangan untuk elemen pengiring.

Semasa taklimat pendahuluan, Preddy begitu mabuk sehingga jatuh dari podium. Kerana menginginkan sesuatu yang lebih baik, beberapa juruterbang mendorongnya ke kerusi dan memegang topeng oksigen di hidungnya sambil perlahan dan agak sedar. Setelah dia berdiri, rakan-rakannya melemparkan segelas air ais ke wajahnya, menamparnya dengan tuala basah, dan membawanya ke pesawatnya. Setelah mereka membantunya masuk ke kokpit, dia bergerak secara normal dan memimpin skuadronnya dalam misi usaha maksimum ke Berlin. Cuaca ternyata cantik dengan langit tanpa awan dan jarak penglihatan yang tidak terhad. Luftwaffe juga berlaku.

Sebelum Amerika mencapai sasaran mereka, 30 Me-109 Jerman menyerang skuadron B-17s Preddy sedang mengawal tetapi nampaknya tidak menyedari Mustang yang menyertainya. Memimpin serangan dari astern, Preddy membuka sebuah pemintas dan nampaknya membunuh juruterbang itu. Pesawat yang menyala berputar ke arah bumi, dan tidak ada payung terjun yang mekar. Preddy seterusnya mengirim peluru ke akar sayap pelabuhan 109 yang lain, menyalakannya ketika juruterbangnya menyelamatkan. Ketika juruterbang Mustang masuk lebih dalam ke dalam formasi musuh, mengambil satu pesawat Jerman demi satu, mereka yang berada di depan terus melepaskan tembakan ke arah pengebom, yang nampaknya tidak menyedari ancaman.

Preddy menurunkan dua lagi Me-109 sebelum penangkap yang tinggal tiba-tiba menyedari bahawa mereka sedang diserang. Ketika orang-orang yang selamat ini berjaya melarikan diri, orang Amerika mengekori. Preddy membakar korban kelima dari pertempuran ini, dan ketika kawanan pejuang turun ke ketinggian hanya 5.000 kaki, dia mengikat ekor yang lain. Jerman menarik pesawatnya ke kiri dalam usaha untuk mendapatkan ekor pengejarnya, tetapi Preddy bertindak balas terlalu cepat, juga menggunting kiri dan melewati Messerschmitt. Menggunakan kepantasan yang dia bangun dalam selamannya, dia turun dari Me-109 dan melepaskan tembakan dari jarak dekat. Juruterbang ini juga berjaya.

Pemain gol terbanyak P-51 Mustang dari Perang Dunia II, Mejar George Preddy menggambarkan aksi itu setelah kembali dari misi yang berjaya.

Setelah Preddy kembali ke Bodney, jurugambar tempur Letnan Satu George Arnold memotret pahlawan pucat yang kelihatan sakit yang sedang memanjat dari kokpit muntah Cripes A'MightyII. Tidak peduli untuk melaporkan pembunuhannya, Preddy membiarkan rakaman kamera senapang dan rakannya bercakap untuknya. Selama beberapa hari ke depan, akhbar berkerumun di lapangan terbang kerana Mejar George Preddy, Jr., anggun dan tampan sebagai bintang filem, menjadi roti bakar Eropah Bersekutu. Itu semua kelihatan memalukannya. Komandannya, Letnan Kolonel John C. Meyer, mengesyorkannya untuk Pingat Kehormatan untuk penerbangan enam pembunuhannya dan marah ketika, pada 12 Ogos, Brig. Jeneral Edward H. Anderson sebaliknya menyematkan Cross Flying Cross di tunik Preddy. Biasanya, jurusan muda nampaknya tidak peduli.

& # 8220Ringkasan, Saya Harus Kembali & # 8221

Menggabungkan pembunuhan udara, darat, dan separa, Preddy kini mempunyai 31 kemenangan, dan pelanjutan tempurnya yang ketiga selama 50 jam telah tamat. Kali ini dia bersetuju untuk pulang bercuti dan tidak akan lagi terbang Cripes A'Mighty II. Pegawai kanan ke-352 itu secara keliru menganggap dia akan berangkat dan memberikan pesawat itu kepada juruterbang lain.

Semasa di rumah di Greensboro, North Carolina, Preddy memberitahu pendeta, "Yang Mulia, saya mesti kembali." Terdapat sedikit ruang untuk ego dalam askar muda yang tidak mementingkan diri ini. Penghargaan, pingat, dan pujian tidak menarik minatnya. Yang dia pedulikan hanyalah membawa perang ke kesimpulan yang berjaya, dan dia menyangka ini akan terjadi lebih cepat jika dia melakukan misi pertempuran.

Preddy menghabiskan tujuh minggu di Amerika Syarikat sebelum mendapat lanjutan 50 jam lagi. Ketika kembali ke England dia diberi komando Skuadron ke-328 Kumpulan ke-322. Dia juga disajikan dengan pesawat tempur P-51D-15NA baru yang dia enggan terbang sehingga nama Cripes A ’Mighty III dicat di badan pesawatnya. Preddy ditempatkan sebagai komandan Skuadron ke-328 kerana ia mempunyai jumlah pembunuhan terburuk dalam kumpulan itu, dan dia diharapkan melakukan sesuatu mengenai hal ini. Dia melakukan yang terbaik pada masa yang tinggal.

Pada 2 November, dia memimpin juruterbangnya dalam misi menjaga pengebom menuju Merseburg. Ketika dia mengintip sejumlah kecurigaan yang mencurigakan pada ketinggian 33.000 kaki, dia menyedari penerbangan penangkap telah turun di siling ketinggian mereka dengan harapan dapat menyerang pengebom dari atas. Mustang dapat terbang setinggi Messerschmidts, dan Preddy memimpin formasinya ke belakang Jerman dan pertama kali menyerang. Walaupun ini adalah pertama kalinya dia melihat melalui senjata api K-14 yang baru dirancang oleh Britain, dia menggunakannya dengan mahir, dengan cepat menjatuhkan Me-109 ketika dia dan orang-orangnya menyebarkan formasi musuh sebelum dapat menganiaya pengebom.

Keesokan harinya dia menembak FW-190. Ini adalah kemenangan terakhirnya selama lebih dari sebulan ketika Luftwaffe yang kurus, dibebani oleh perang di tiga bidang, pada dasarnya hilang selama beberapa minggu. Ini juga membantu menjadikan unit udara dan darat sekutu menjadi keyakinan berlebihan yang berbahaya ketika Nazi Jerman melancarkan serangan untuk terakhir kalinya.

Jatuh Tidak Terkalahkan

Kemusnahan dahsyat dilakukan di Reich Ketiga pada tahun 1944. Juga, setiap sejarawan ketenteraan mengetahui bahawa Tentera Darat Jerman secara tradisional tidak melancarkan serangan besar pada musim sejuk, terutama ketika sudah dan jelas dipukul. Oleh itu, bukan kerana Pearl Harbor adalah tentera A.S. secara mengejutkan pada pukul 5 pagi 16 Disember 1944, ketika 600.000 tentera Jerman yang tidak dapat dikesan meletup dari Hutan Ardennes yang beku di kawasan yang akan dikenali sebagai Battle of the Bulge. Cuaca terburuk dalam beberapa bulan menutupi Eropah Barat dan melindungi Wehrmacht yang melonjak dari kekuatan udara Bersekutu.

Seperti USAAF yang lain, yang ke-352 diserang oleh mendung dan ribut salji. Skuadron ke-328 bermain di hutan di luar Asche, Belgia, bermain dengan bersungguh-sungguh pada 23 Disember dengan harapan dapat merangkai unit-unit tanah musuh, tetapi setelah rondaan tanpa hasil di mana langit-langit awan begitu dekat dengan tanah, para juruterbang harus mengelak pokok, mereka kembali ke pangkalan tanpa melepaskan tembakan. Tanpa penerbangan pengintaian, mereka tidak tahu di mana mencari sasaran, dan laporan radio dari unit-unit darat dalam pertempuran hutan yang keliru saling bertentangan. Selama dua hari berikutnya, pesawat udara yang kecewa menulis dan membaca surat, bermain kad, dan menembak dadu di perkemahan hutan mereka yang beku.

Pada Hari Krismas, Preddy adalah salah satu daripada 10 juruterbang yang berlepas dengan harapan dapat menyokong pasukan infanteri dan perisai mereka yang berusaha menghalang aliran musuh yang bergerak ke arah barat. Mereka tidak menjumpai apa-apa selama tiga jam, kemudian mendapat laporan radio mengenai penerbangan bermusuhan di sebelah barat daya Koblenz. Menuju ke sektor tersebut mereka menemui penyamun dan menyerang dari atas. Pada kebiasaannya, Preddy membakar dua Me-109 dan memimpin pasukannya mengejar seluruh Jerman ketika mereka berpaling ke arah Liege.

Mendekati FW-190, dia melepaskan tembakan dari jarak dekat pada waktu yang sama kru anti kapal terbang Amerika menyerang dia. Penembak darat dengan cepat menyedari bahawa mereka menembak salah satu pesawat mereka sendiri dan menghentikan tembakan, tetapi sudah terlambat. Salah satu peluru berkaliber .50 telah melalui paha kanan Preddy, sehingga melancarkan arteri femoralnya. Dia terhempas mendarat di dekat lubang serpihan, dan pasukan infanteri membawanya ke sebuah hospital lapangan, tetapi dia berdarah sampai mati sebelum mencapainya.

Mejar George Preddy tidak pernah dikalahkan dalam pertempuran. Pada usia 25 tahun dia menjadi mangsa kesalahan manusia. Dengan 27.5 pembunuhan yang disahkan, dia adalah pemain Mustang yang mendapat markah tertinggi dalam perang walaupun telah menerbangkan pesawat luar biasa ini selama kurang dari satu tahun. Semua ini mengkristal kedudukannya sebagai salah satu pahlawan perang terhebat di Amerika.

Pada 17 April 1945, saudara lelaki Preddy yang berusia 20 tahun, William, juruterbang Mustang dengan dua kemenangan, terbunuh oleh tembakan anti kapal terbang di Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.

Pengarang Kelly Bell menulis secara berkala mengenai pelbagai aspek Perang Dunia II, termasuk perang udara di Eropah Barat. Dia tinggal di Tyler, Texas.


Mustang P-51 Membuat Kembalinya Perang Korea

Orang ramai kebanyakannya mengingati Mustang P-51 Amerika Utara sebagai pesawat pejuang yang melindungi pengebom Bersekutu di Jerman dan Jepun semasa Perang Dunia.

Orang ramai kebanyakannya mengingati Mustang P-51 Amerika Utara sebagai pesawat tempur yang melindungi pengebom Bersekutu ke atas Jerman dan Jepun semasa Perang Dunia II. Dibayangi oleh pejuang jet yang lebih baru pada saat perang meletus di Korea pada tahun 1950, kemunduran teknologi relatif F-51 yang dilantik semula menjadi rahmat yang memenuhi syarat untuk sokongan udara yang dekat dan serangan larangan medan perang terhadap Tentara Rakyat Korea.

Buku baru Warren Thompson F-51 Mustang Unit Perang Korea memberi tumpuan kepada peranan pejuang veteran di Korea, dan juga mendedahkan sejarah pesawat yang tidak diketahui dengan Australia, Afrika Selatan dan Republik Korea.

Pencerobohan Korea Utara ke Selatan pada 25 Jun 1950 mengejutkan tentera A.S. di Timur Jauh, yang dilumpuhkan oleh demobilisasi pasca Perang Dunia II. Satu-satunya pesawat perang A.S. di rantau ini ialah F-82G Twin Mustangs dan F-80C Shooting Stars yang beroperasi dari Jepun.

Walaupun pesawat-pesawat ini melakukan pekerjaan terpuji yang melakukan pengintaian dan serangan darat dan meliputi pengungsian warga A.S. dari zon perang, tidak banyak dari mereka untuk berkeliling. Selain itu, penggunaan bahan bakar F-80C yang tinggi, slot tiang bom yang terhad dan transit lama dari Jepun ke Korea mengehadkan masa yang lebih lama di medan perang hanya minit.

F-51D Mustang, yang pada tahun 1950 terutama ditugaskan kepada skuadron Pengawal Nasional dan Cadangan Air yang berpusat di benua Amerika Syarikat, ternyata menjadi pesawat yang ideal untuk menghilangkan tekanan pada pasukan PBB. Jarak operasi dan daya tahan Mustang & # 8217 yang telah berfungsi dengan baik dalam Perang Dunia II sekarang membolehkannya berkeliaran di medan perang untuk masa yang lebih lama daripada yang mampu dilakukan oleh F-80C.

Tidak seperti jet pejuang yang lebih baru, F-51D lebih bertolak ansur dengan medan udara kasar yang khas untuk Korea - jadi mereka tidak perlu menghabiskan Jam terbang pergi dan balik dari pangkalan udara di Jepun. Selain enam senapan mesin berkaliber .50, Mustang dapat melemparkan pelbagai senjata napalm, bom dan roket anti kenderaan di bawah sayapnya.

Seperti yang dijelaskan Thompson, pada bulan pertama pencerobohan Korea Utara satu-satunya pesawat F-51 di Korea adalah 10 yang digunakan Tentera Udara ROK untuk melatih juruterbang pertamanya. Juruterbang Amerika, yang kebanyakannya beralih ke F-80C, dimasukkan kembali ke tempat sebelumnya bersama B-26B Invaders dan US Navy F4U Corsairs yang menyertai pertempuran untuk menahan KPA.

Sementara itu, Tentera Udara A.S. sibuk menuai sebanyak mungkin F-51 dari skuadron yang berpangkalan di Amerika Syarikat dan dengan tergesa-gesa mengemasnya di kapal induk USS Petinju untuk penghantaran ke zon perang. Setibanya mereka di sana, para Mustang segera melancarkan serangan mengganggu gerombolan pasukan KPA dan kereta kebal T-34/85 yang menghimpit pasukan PBB di sekitar kawasan Pusan.

Di bahagian atas & # 8212 ROKAF F-51Ds. Di Atas & # 8212 Tentera Udara A.S. F-51D di Korea. Di bawah & # 8212 F-51D di USS Petinju dalam perjalanan ke Korea. Semua gambar melalui Wikimedia Commons

Thompson menerangkan bagaimana beberapa masalah muncul dalam fasa perang ini untuk Mustang dan kru mereka. Keadaan di lapangan terbang Korea, jelas, mengerikan. Musim panas yang terik menjadikan lapangan terbang Pohang, di sebelah timur perimeter Pusan, menjadi tempat penyapu udara terbuka untuk juruterbang dan kru darat yang menggunakan ransum C dan air hangat yang tidak menyenangkan oleh tablet pemurnian, sementara debu melekit menyekat mesin Mustang dan talian bahan api.

Menyasarkan kemajuan KPA sukar kerana kehadiran pelarian awam yang menggunakan jalan yang sama dengan pengejar mereka.

Serangan menghukum yang dilakukan oleh kekuatan udara PBB memaksa KPA untuk menyekat pergerakan pasukan pada waktu malam dan menyamarkan tentera dan peralatan dengan ada penutup yang ada & # 8212 kadang-kadang dengan membawa tangki ke rumah atau jerami. Dari semua jenis senjata yang mesti digunakan oleh Mustang, pasukan KPA paling takut dengan napalm.

Juruterbang F-51 dari Skuadron Fighter Interceptor ke-51 menggunakan bom terma hibrida & # 8212 yang melelehkan getah langsung dari roda jalan tangki.

Setelah serangan amfibi Amerika berjaya di Inchon, skuadron F-51D membantu mengejar KPA yang berundur ke Korea Utara & # 8212 tetapi korban mereka meningkat. Kebakaran di darat merupakan ancaman utama bagi F-51 karena kerapuhan enjin Merlin mereka. Jet MiG-15 China yang terbang dari tempat perlindungan Manchuria menimbulkan bahaya tambahan mulai November 1950 dan seterusnya.

Jet Soviet yang pantas & meriam 23-milimeter dan 37-milimeter melebihi senapang mesin Mustang sendiri dan secara kritikal dapat menjatuhkan kebanyakan pesawat dengan satu serangan letupan. Over-match hampir dalam semua cara, hanya cara untuk juruterbang Mustang bertahan adalah dengan berubah menjadi MiG yang akan datang dan terbang terus di bawah jalan penerbangannya dan melarikan diri.

Pejuang Yakovlev Yak-9 Korea Utara adalah musuh yang lebih terkawal untuk F-51D. Yak-9 adalah pejuang yang mampu, seperti Mustang, telah membuktikan dirinya dalam pertempuran melawan Jerman semasa Perang Dunia II. Pembinaannya yang ringan membolehkannya naik lebih pantas daripada F-51D dan membelok pesawat Amerika. Tetapi juruterbang Amerika lebih mahir daripada pesaing Korea Utara mereka dan jet pejuang PBB membantu melindungi pesawat F-51D dari Yaks ketika cuaca cerah.

Buku Thompson menawarkan tampilan menarik di perkhidmatan Mustang dengan Skuadron No. 77 Australia, Skuadron No. 2 Afrika Selatan dan Tentera Udara Republik Korea. Tentera Udara Diraja Australia menggunakan F-51D selama sembilan bulan antara Julai 1950 dan April 1951 sebelum menggantikannya dengan jet pejuang Gloster Meteor. Orang Australia kehilangan 10 juruterbang yang terbunuh dalam aksi dan empat lagi akibat kemalangan. Sebelum membantu pasukan PBB lain dalam memukul gerombolan KPA di sekitar Pusan, Aussie F-51 mengawal pasukan B-29 Amerika yang menghancurkan lapangan terbang Yonpo.

Penguasaan Afrika Selatan dengan pesawat itu bermula pada November 1950, ketika orang Afrika terbang misi tempur pertama mereka dari Pyongyang. Kerugian mereka berjumlah 12 terbunuh dan 30 hilang.


Jeneral A.S yang sombong menjadikan Mustang P-51 sebagai Keperluan

Pengebom B-17 semasa Perang Dunia II. Foto Tentera Udara

Dengan kepemimpinan yang lebih baik, pesawat tempur ikonik mungkin tidak diperlukan

oleh JAMES PERRY STEVENSON dan PIERRE SPREY

Manfaat yang dibawa P-51 Mustang dalam pertempuran udara dalam Perang Dunia II, terutama di Jerman, cukup terkenal. Pesawat pejuang ikonik boleh terbang lebih tinggi, lebih cepat, lebih jauh dan menghasilkan lebih banyak pembunuhan per sorti daripada P-47 atau P-38 yang disukai birokrasi penerbangan Angkatan Udara Tentera A.S.

Walau bagaimanapun nyata Kisah P-51 Mustang sama seperti mengenai gerakan sukar seorang pejuang baru yang hebat seperti juga mengenai penghancuran kereta kebal yang sangat diperlukan untuk memperluas jangkauan pejuang yang ada. Kemudian ada taktik gerilya beberapa pegawai dilancarkan di koridor kekuasaan untuk mengatasi permusuhan Tentera Darat "tidak diciptakan di sini" terhadap pesawat, serta penulisan sejarah pasca perang oleh Angkatan Udara A.S. yang baru dicetak.

Antara Perang Dunia I dan Perang Dunia II, pengebom mula terbang lebih tinggi dan lebih cepat daripada pesawat tempur biplane yang sudah usang. Namun, jeneral pengebom Angkatan Udara Tentera A.S. menolak untuk meramalkan bahawa pejuang musuh mungkin menghalang pesawat pengangkut kayu tidak selalu sampai ke sasaran.

Pegawai-pegawai ini bahkan melakukan latihan di lapangan yang dirancang untuk menyokong premis pengebom mereka. Tentera A.S. Letnan Kolonel Henry "Hap" Arnold, penyokong pengebom terkemuka yang akhirnya akan menjadi ketua Air Corps, sangat bertekad untuk membuktikan hal ini.

"Latihan yang diadakan pada tahun 1931 sepertinya memperkuat gagasan bahawa pengebom cepat dapat melakukan dengan baik sendiri," tulis sejarawan tentera Dr. Tami Davis Biddle dalam Retorik dan Realiti dalam Peperangan Udara. “Arnold mencapai kesimpulan ini, begitu juga pengadil, salah seorang yang menyatakan: '[Saya] mustahil bagi pejuang untuk memintas pengebom dan oleh itu tidak sesuai dengan penggunaan tentera udara untuk mengembangkan pejuang.' "

Mustang P-51B awal. Foto Tentera Udara

Pola pikir yang kaku ini tertanam dalam strategi kekuatan udara Angkatan Darat, pertempuran anggaran dan rentetan propaganda kekuatan udara yang tidak berkesudahan.
Namun, hanya dalam beberapa tahun, permainan perang tempur dan pertempuran udara sebenar di luar negeri memberikan banyak bukti bahawa tentera Udara Tentera Darat telah melakukan kesimpulan yang salah.

"[I] pada tahun 1933, ... skuadron mencegat 55 persen formasi hari musuh ketika mereka terbang menuju sasaran, ... 26 persen lagi ketika mereka meninggalkannya [dan] 67 persen penyerang malam individu dipintas," kata Biddle. "Tetapi apa yang nampaknya kemenangan pertahanan yang jelas tidak dirasakan seperti itu: penyokong pengeboman strategik menolak untuk memahami ramalan penurunan pengebom oleh hasil latihan ini."

"Ketika menilai hasil, penyokong pengebom membuat aturan formal dan penapis kognitif [untuk memastikan] mereka akan melihat apa yang mereka harapkan: keutamaan serangan udara yang dilakukan oleh pengebom yang ditentukan," tambahnya. "Aturan di mana latihan dijalankan memberikan kelebihan kepada pengebom, dan keputusan pengadil menjelaskan hasil yang tidak dijangka, [tidak menyenangkan]."

Bukti pertempuran bertentangan segera muncul, bermula pada bulan Julai 1936. Perang Saudara Sepanyol yang berlangsung selama 33 bulan menawarkan kesempatan untuk memerhatikan para pejuang menunjukkan betapa mematikannya mereka terhadap pengebom, dan kemampuan mereka untuk bertahan dari senapang pengebom. Nisbah kehilangan pengebom yang dialami di Sepanyol dengan jelas meramalkan apa yang akan dihadapi oleh pengebom Amerika dalam perang berikutnya.

"Pengawal formasi pengebom menuju ke dan dari objektif mereka dengan dua kali lipat, dan lebih dari dua kali lipat, jumlah pejuang mereka, telah ditemukan oleh kedua-dua belah pihak sebagai keperluan walaupun kemampuan pengebom untuk menembak jatuh pejuang," kata pegawai tentera , menurut Biddle.

Cpt Tentera A.S. Claire Chennault, ketua instruktur tempur di Air Corps Tactical School, berpendapat pengebom itu tidak kebal terhadap "prinsip kuno bahawa untuk setiap senjata ada senjata balas baru dan berkesan," jelas Biddle. Sebagai penghargaan atas ajaran taktikalnya yang jelas dan bernubuat, kepemimpinan pengebom Tactical School menyerahkannya untuk kenaikan pangkat, mendorong pegawai itu mengundurkan diri pada tahun 1937.

Ironinya, itu menjadikan Chennault tersedia untuk melatih dan memimpin Flying Tigers legenda China. Rekod tempur mereka yang cemerlang menggunakan taktiknya membenarkan semua ideanya mengenai keberkesanan kumpulan pejuang kecil terhadap pasukan pengebom Jepun yang jauh lebih besar.

Sama seperti kepimpinan Tentera Udara Tentera Darat mengabaikan idea dan hasil Chennault, pemikirannya tidak akan mengganggu tafsiran objektif mengenai Perang Saudara Sepanyol. Konflik tersebut menunjukkan bahawa pengawal pejuang adalah penting untuk mengelakkan kerugian pengebom yang tidak dapat dikekalkan.

"Ketepatan" Angkatan Udara Tentera A.S. dipamerkan. Foto Tentera Udara

Cabang penerbangan Tentera Darat tentunya tidak mahu mengalihkan wang pengebom untuk membeli pejuang pengiring. Dengan para jeneral bertekad untuk terbang jauh di tengah-tengah musuh, keberatan yang lebih kuat adalah bahawa jarak tempur pendek yang ada menghalang pengebom untuk mencapai sasaran yang jauh ini.

Sebenarnya, ini adalah luka yang ditimbulkan sendiri. P-47 dan P-38 Tentera Darat memang boleh mengawal pengebom jauh ke Jerman sejak mereka mengerahkan ke Britain. Arnold menjadikannya mustahil dengan melarang kereta kebal luaran ke atas pejuang.

Sejak tangki jatuhkan dipotong menjadi beban bom yang dianggapnya sangat penting, "[i] Februari 1939, Arnold melarang pengembangan tangki jatuhan 52 galon untuk pejuang P-36 kerana 'alasan keselamatan'," Trent Telenko menulis dalam catatan terperinci untuk blog Chicago Boyz. "Rak tangki bahan bakar yang memiliki tangki bahan bakar 52 galon dapat membawa bom 300 paun."

Arnold memang sekali sekala menunjukkan alasan taktik yang jelas. Pada bulan April 1940, dia meninjau saranan dewan yang telah dibentuknya untuk menetapkan keutamaan untuk Angkatan Udara Tentera Darat.

Lembaga Emmons mengesyorkan, tanpa menghairankan, pengebom jarak jauh yang sangat besar sebagai keutamaannya. The keutamaan keempat adalah pejuang pengiring dengan jarak 1.500 batu.

Sebagai penghargaan Arnold, dia menukar keutamaan pertama dan keempat, memindahkan pengawal pejuang jarak jauh ke tempat pertama. Serangan ke Pearl Harbor dan Filipina tidak diragukan lagi meningkatkan insentifnya untuk menyelesaikan masalah jarak tempur.

Pada pertemuan pada 20 Februari 1942, "Arnold memerintahkan pengembangan tangki bahan bakar tambahan secara menyeluruh," tulis Mayor Angkatan Udara A.S. Robert Eslinger dalam makalah penyelidikan di Air Command and Staff College. This decision came just two and a half months after Japanese Zero fighters used bamboo-and-paper drop tanks to escort bombers that wiped out America’s own Philippine-based B-17 bomber force.

Unfortunately, in the heat of his budget battles for more and larger four-engine bombers, the bomber general failed to follow up on the nickel-and-dime drop tank issue.

Eight months later, in October 1942 “… Eighth Air Force … inquired whether jettisonable fuel tanks could be made available for the P-47,” scholar William Emerson said in a lecture, titled Operation POINTBLANK: A Tale of Bombers and Fighters. "Nothing came of the request.”

“In February 1943 [another request was made],” Emerson continued. “It is not clear from the record what response was forthcoming to this request … but it is clear that little was accomplished up to June 29, 1943, when [Army Materiel Command] belatedly held a final design conference on P-47 auxiliary tanks.”

“On August 8, 1943, … [Army Materiel Command] had to confess that although some experimental types had been completed, none were yet available for use in operational theaters.”

A P-47 fighter plane with a drop tank. Air Force photo

Out of frustration, the Eighth Fighter Command in England made its own tanks. In addition, the unit hired local British craftsmen to make some out of glue-impregnated kraft paper.

Elsewhere, U.S. Army Gen. George Kenney’s Fifth Air Force in the Pacific developed its versions from old Spam cans. These tanks turned out better than the ones that finally arrived through official Army Air Forces channels.

Upon discovering this, Arnold wrote “there is no reason in God’s world why General Kenney should have to develop his own belly tanks,” according to Emerson. “If he can develop one over there in two months, we should be able to develop one here in the States in one month.”

Of course, it was Arnold’s failure to follow up on the issue that allowed 20 months to pass without anyone supplying a single U.S.-built belly tank to American fighter pilots in combat. The Army bureaucracy’s perennial hostility to ideas from the field — especially really cheap and embarrassingly effective ones — surely didn’t help matters.

Map showing the range of the P-47 with and without tanks. Air Force art

Throughout World War II, the Army Air Forces bombarded the American public with press releases about the accuracy of the Norden bombsight and how it and the four-engine bomber would bring Germany to its knees. Both the gullible public and the politicians, believing in the integrity of high ranking officers, swallowed the propaganda about American bombers flying so high and so fast that enemy fighters and surface-to-air guns couldn’t possibly prevent them from destroying the Hun’s means and will to wage war.

Indeed, even before the war started, the Army was already pushing the idea of winning wars through air power without any need to send in the troops at all. American bomber generals, having preached that the B-17 was an invincible, self-defending flying fortress, couldn’t wait to start bombing Germany — even without fighter escort and drop tanks.

When the Eighth Air Force dropped the first bombs on German soil on Jan. 27, 1943, the mission exposed the mismatch between this concept and the brutal reality of war. The crews targeted the naval port at Wilhelmshaven in a raid involving more than 90 B-17 and B-24 bombers.

Only 58 bombers — 60 percent — found the target. The bomber force had no escort fighters, but crews claimed they shot down 22 German defenders.

German after-action reports show the Luftwaffe lost seven fighters — confirming the savvy air historian’s working premise that combat claims are usually exaggerated by a factor of pi. The Nazis shot down three bombers — five percent of those that reached the target — killing or wounding 35 American fliers, according to the official record.

This seemingly low loss rate was, in fact, already unsustainable due to the inexorable arithmetic of combat attrition. A five percent loss rate means you’ve lost half your bombers — and more than half your crews because of the extra casualties aboard the shot-up bombers that manage to limp home — after only 11 missions.

Far worse was yet to come.

This B-17 lost most of its nose to enemy fire in a raid over Europe. Air Force photo

U.S. Army Gen. Ira Eaker, in charge of the Eighth Air Force in England, persisted in launching bomber raids without escorts deep into Germany. Bomber losses mounted during spring 1943, running 80 per month between April and June and increasing to 110 per month by summer.

Eaker’s commitment to the strategy remained unshaken. In Fall 1943, he launched a major raid on an aircraft and ball bearings plants in and around Schweinfurt, followed by another against automotive factories in Stuttgart. The missions proved disastrous.

Eighth Air Force lost 19 and 17 percent of the bombers sent on each operation, respectively, along with 1,200 crew casualties. The bombing only reduced factory production by one third for a few weeks.

Oblivious to these crushingly unsustainable losses, in October 1943, the unit’s aircraft mounted a whole week of maximum effort bombing. This culminated in Black Thursday — Oct 14, 1943 — the nickname for yet another large Schweinfurt raid.

This attack proved even more brutal on American fliers than the first attempt. After the mission was over, the Eighth had to write off 26 percent of its bombers.

By this time, Eaker’s bomber losses were so high that he would have to replace his entire bomber force every three months — a clearly impossible proposition. Even worse, he would be losing 100 percent of his bomber crews every three months, as well.

In the graph above, the vertical red bars indicate the available bombers for the Eighth Air Force for a given month whereas the green and red line indicate the cumulative loss of bombers. Using the data from Williamson Murray’s Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933–1945, a quick scan indicates that Army bombers on hand were getting replaced too slowly to make up for losses starting in September 1943.

Black October and the 2,030 dead crews lost that month ended the myth of the bomber always “getting through” without the benefit of escorts.

For the nine months from that first raid on Wilhelmshaven through Black October, thousands of bomber crewmen died unnecessarily while British bases were chock full of fighters that could have protected them all the way to their German targets. To Arnold and his failure to implement his belly tank directive must go the responsibility for their deaths.

Black October made it obvious that losses of bombers and crews exceeded America’s ability to replace them. With the utter failure of the bomber mafia’s fanatical faith in the self-defending bomber exposed, Eaker had no choice but to abandon the unescorted bomber raids he had championed so relentlessly.

“With the Schweinfurt missions went the virtual end of the idea that the heavy bomber could ‘go it alone’,” the Air Force conceded in a 1955 history. “The debate that had continued since the early 1930’s was now all but over.”

“To reach targets in Germany would require more than a regrouping of bomber formations and an inculcation of an offensive spirit,” the review added. “These would help, but they were not answers to the German Me-109 and Fw-190 [fighter planes].”

“The Eighth Bomber Command’s Operational Research Section stated: ‘…enemy fighter activity is probably the sole cause of two out of five of our loses, and that is the final cause of seven out of ten of our losses.’”

Turning the bombers loose with fighters that could fly only a short distance was like providing a fire escape that went down to the fourth floor and, when fire broke out, forcing residents to jump the final three stories.

The Army suspended unescorted bomber raids until 1944. The order came from U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Fred Anderson, head of the Eighth Bomber Command, on Oct. 22, 1943, U.S. Army Maj. Greg Grabow explained in a Command and General Staff College thesis.

A map comparing the ranges of the P-38 and P-51 fighter planes. Air Force art

Two months later, like the deus ex machina of a Greek play, the Merlin-engine powered P-51B Mustang made its serendipitous debut in December 1943. The new escort fighter could fly almost as far as the bombers could bomb. Equally important, U.S. Army Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, a firm believer in the value of fighter escort, took over for Eaker.

On Dec. 11, 1943, the P-51Bs flew their first escort mission, bringing bombers to Emdem on the German coast, just short of Wilhelmshaven. Two days later the Mustangs escorted bombers on a raid deep into Germany, flying 480 miles to hit the German naval base at Kiel.

With P-51Bs providing escort, losses immediately dropped.

As Pentagon staff officers are fond of saying, “success has many fathers failure is always an orphan.” Arnold was no exception.

In his post-war autobiography Global Mission, the officer took credit — with the help of an invented chronology — for allegedly fathering the early decision to draft the P-51 into Army Air Forces service:

Briefly, in 1940, “Dutch” Kindelberger, of North American, was asked to build P-40’s for the British. “Dutch” could not see his way to building P-40’s, so he had his engineers dig down in their files, pull out a substitute for the P-40. Our Materiel Division was not particularly interested, but they did say that if North American built these for the British, we were to get two P-51’s for nothing.

The first airplane was completed toward the latter part of 1940. Production was not started until the middle part of 1941 (Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft states December, 1941). When I went overseas in the Spring of 1941, Tommy Hitchcock and Mr. Winant talked to me about the P-51, although they didn’t know much about it at the time. Spaatz and I went out to the North American plant in January or February — anyway, early in 1942 — and it was then that we saw and inspected it and decided that we must have the P-51 for our own Air Force, in spite of the Materiel Division’s turning it down.

In truth, the Mustang’s birth and entry into World War II had nothing to do with the prescience of either Arnold or the Army. The general’s two paragraph explanation differs in important respects from several considerably more detached and detailed histories of the origins of the P-51, including Nelson Aldrich’s American Hero, Ray Wagner’s Mustang Designer, Jeff Ethell’s Mustang: A Documentary History of the P-51 and Lynne Olson’s Citizens of London.

A brief summary of their meticulously documented research into the evolution of the P-51 Mustang makes this very clear.

An early Mustang prototype with an Allison engine. North American Aviation photo

The Mustang was an example of chance favoring the prepared mind. In early 1940, officials in London set up the British Direct Purchase Commission to use American lend-lease funds to buy from American factories the weapons Britain most urgently needed — and to do so as quickly as possible.

With funds earmarked for a close support fighter — aka “army cooperation,” in British parlance — for the Royal Air Force, the commission decided to buy the in-production P-40 Warhawk. As it turned out, this aircraft was poorly suited for any form of ground attack.

However, the Army Air Corps warned the commission that the United States needed all the P-40s the Curtiss factory could produce. Instead, American officers suggested the British approach North American Aviation’s president James “Dutch” Kindelberger to see if his company might produce additional P-40s under license.

Kindelberger ran this idea by his brilliant young chief designer Ed Schmued, a naturalized citizen born in Germany. Schmued immediately replied he could design a much better airplane in three months. Many years later, one of the authors asked Schmued in interview if he had ever designed a fighter before.

“No, but I had been carrying around in my head concepts of what I would do if ever given the chance,” Schmued replied. “The design that became the P-51 is the result.”

The British accepted North American Aviation’s counter-offer to design and produce a completely new airplane for them on two conditions. First, North American had to deliver planes by January 1941 and second, the design had to use the same Allison engine as the P-40.

The British Direct Purchase Commission approved the contract on April 10, 1940 and the new prototype was on the runway 102 days after North American signed the document. Unfortunately, since Allison delivered engines three months late, the first flight only came on Oct. 26, 1940.

Production for the RAF started in early 1941 and the British named the production airplane the Mustang I. In August 1942, the first RAF Mustangs attacked Dieppe in France and enemy ships in the English channel.

In early 1943, the Army Air Forces sent the A-36 Apache version into combat in Italy. These aircraft were predictably vulnerable to even light anti-aircraft fire due to the liquid-cooled Allison engine.

In both RAF testing and in limited air combat over the channel, the Mustang Is showed some promise as an air-to-air fighter at low altitudes. Unfortunately, due to the Allison engine, the initial variant was decidedly inadequate for the high altitude bomber escort mission in the European theater.

Nevertheless, these disappointing early models led directly to the new and remarkably improved P-51 that saved Arnold and Spaatz’s failed bombing campaign. But neither Arnold nor Spaatz nor the Army’s procurement bureaucracy deserve credit for bringing the new, improved aircraft into American inventory.

A late-war P-51 Mustang. Air Force photo

Instead, it was an internationally-famous polo player, Tommy Hitchcock. He skillfully wielded his high level social and political connections to impose the P-51 on the reluctant bomber generals and a hostile bureaucracy.

Hitchcock came from a wealthy New York family, shot down two enemy planes as a volunteer pilot in World War I, got captured, escaped as a prisoner of war, spent the interwar years becoming what many considered the world’s best polo player, married into the Mellon fortune, served as the model for two of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most glamorous characters dan wanted to get back into the cockpit as soon as World War II broke out.

His age — 41 years old — prevented him from following through with that plan.

Instead, the closest he could get to the war was as the assistant air attaché in the American Embassy in London. On May 1, 1942, nearly five months after Pearl Harbor attack, Hitchcock arrived at the post with the Army rank of major.

Hitchcock served as liaison between the Eighth Air Force and both British forces and the U.K.’s aviation industry. Some Americans found it difficult to accept that the British might have better ideas.

So, one of Hitchcock’s primary functions was to sniff out and pass on useful British innovations without revealing their foreign origins. In this role, Hitchcock learned that a test pilot for Rolls Royce, Ronnie Harker, had observed the nearly identical dimensions of the Allison and Merlin engines.

Harker had been urging Rolls Royce management to drop the Merlin — the powerplant behind the famous Spitfire fighter plane — into the Mustang’s engine bay. Harker and Hitchcock had each flown the Allison-powered Mustang and were impressed with the Mustang’s maneuvering performance at low altitude.

Harker noticed that at similar horsepower settings, the Mustang was both 30 miles per hour faster than the highly regarded Spitfire and had three times the fuel capacity — both clear signs of greatly improved range. Since the Allison engine ran out of power at higher altitudes and the Merlin engine performed superbly there, the potential combat benefits were obvious.

Rolls Royce notified Hitchcock of the planned Merlin-Mustang conversion test. There is some evidence that Hitchcock was already thinking in the same vein and had passed his thoughts to North American Aviation.

Around the same time, the Packard Motor Company was completing negotiations with Rolls Royce for an American license to build the Merlin engine. On July 25, 1942, North American Aviation was authorized to convert two of the British Mustangs to Merlin engines.

American officials dubbed these two airplanes XP-78s, before renaming them as XP-51Bs shortly thereafter. Back in England, British authorities officially authorized the Rolls Royce Merlin-Mustang conversion project on Aug. 12, 1942.

On Oct. 13, 1942, the first converted Mustang took off. With the Merlin engine, the plane’s top speed leapt from 390 to 433 miles per hour, could climb rate of 3,440 feet per minute and had a range of up to 2,000 miles with external drop tanks.

On Nov. 30, 1942, the month after Rolls Royce tested the improved Mustang, North American flew its own version with the Packard-licensed Merlin engine — and got even better results. The XP-51B reached 441 miles per hour in level flight at 29,800 feet — 100 miles per hour more than a Mustang with the Allison motor.

On top of that, the Merlin doubled the Mustang’s climb rate. The P-51B was better in virtually every dogfighting performance characteristic than either of the two top performing German fighters, the Me-109 and Fw-190.

Menurut Global Mission, Arnold claims he saw military attaché Tommy Hitchcock in London in spring 1941. This was impossible because Hitchcock did not arrive in London until May 1942.

Arnold’s own diary confirms this. “Tuesday, May 26, 1942 Went to Claridge[’s] Hotel with [U.S. Ambassador Gil] Winant. Breakfast with Winant, Chaney and military attache.”

Although the general didn’t name the “attaché,” Hitchcock arrived on May 1, 1942. It is likely that Arnold was referring to Hitchcock when he wrote the entry.

“Long discussion with Chaney and Winant re [sic] efficiency of U.S. pursuit, P-39 especially,” Arnold continued in his notes. “Chaney doubts efficiency of both P-38 and P-39, thinks we are doing wrong by using either.”

And it appears Hitchcock shared what he learned about the Merlin engine — or that U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had somehow learned about it separately. On Oct. 22, 1942, Churchill met with Arnold and raised a long list of staff-prepared issues for improving allied air operations, one of which was the Merlin-powered P-51.

Churchill “went on to recommend…the development of the P-51 Mustang fighter ‘with the right [Rolls-Royce] engines’,” Arnold noted.

Loaded with engineering estimates for Merlin-powered P-51 performance, in November 1942, Hitchcock flew back to Washington, D.C. to visit Arnold and share the good news. After the briefing, Arnold expressed tepid interest in the P-51, dismissing the data as merely “estimated.”

Hitchcock, un-cowed by four-star rank and not seeking a military career, went over Arnold’s head to Robert Lovett, then Assistant Secretary of War for Air. Presumably Lovett listened attentively.

Both men flew together in World War I. As fellow members of New York’s “400” social elite they often got together with other well-to-do individuals to play polo.

“Pressed hard by Lovett and others in the War Department, Arnold reluctantly gave in, ordering the production of an initial 2,200 P-51Bs, as hybrid Mustangs [with the British Rolls Royce engine] were called,” Olson wrote in Citizens of London. “But while the order was supposed to have the highest priority, there was a lag in producing the planes, and Arnold did little to speed it up.

“‘His hands were tied by his mouth’ Lovett noted,” according to Olson “[Arnold] said our only need was flying fortresses … [that] very few fighters could keep up with them.”

“But as Lovett added, ‘the Messerschmitts had no difficulty at all.’”

The troubling disparities between Arnold’s two paragraph account in his autobiography and the published Mustang histories are best summarized in the table below.

“It may be said that we could have had the long-range P-51 in Europe rather sooner that we did,” Arnold noted in Global Mission. “That we did not have it sooner was the Air Force’s own fault.”

His comment would have been more accurate if he had written: “That we did not have it sooner was my fault.”

In truth, with the right Army leadership priorities, the long range P-51B could have been in combat over Germany five months earlier, in July 1943. This assumes the planes would have been ready a conservative nine months after the first flight in October 1942.

With these fighters, the Eighth Air Force might have avoided devastating bomber and crew losses of the disastrous operations in summer and fall 1943. Even more importantly, Arnold could have added: “that our P-47s did not have the external tanks to accompany bombers deep into Germany far sooner was also my fault.”

Arnold mindset, which caused him to forbid drop tank development in 1939, doomed thousands of unescorted bomber crew members throughout all of 1943 to death and dismemberment. This needless slaughter remained unrelieved until the belated deliveries in 1944 of adequate quantities of drop tanks — and of long range P-51Bs.

James Perry Stevenson is the former editor of the Topgun Journal dan pengarang The $5 Billion Misunderstanding dan The Pentagon Paradox.


Commemorative Air Force North American P-51 “Red Nose”


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.

This was that plane that launched the Confederate Air Force (now known as the Commemorative Air Force).

Though in storage for six years, this aircraft, now known as USAF F-51D-25NA S/N 42-73843, had not yet finished its tour of duty. In January of 1951, this aircraft was dropped from the USAF inventory and transferred to Canada under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. It was officially accepted by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on 11 January 1951, and was placed in Stored Reserve in Trenton, Ontario. A month later, on 26 February, this aircraft was once again flying, now with the No. 416 “LYNX” Squadron (Regular) of the RCAF, based in Uplands, Ontario.
It served with this regular unit for little more than a year before transfer to the No. 10 Technical Services Unit in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 28 March 1952. Here it stayed until assigned to the No. 420 “SNOWY OWLS” Squadron (Auxiliary) of the RCAF in London, Ontario. Its tenure with this unit lasted until 19 July 1956, when the aircraft was listed as awaiting disposal and placed into storage. It was then bought by a private company in the United States, and ended back in San Antonio, Texas, now as the property of Stinson Field Aircraft.
It was in 1957 that the aircraft was acquired by the founding members of the CAF including Lloyd P. Nolen himself. This airplane is not only historically significant, but it is thoroughly engrained in the CAF’s heritage as well. The Dixie Wing was selected to become the new home for the P-51 “Red Nose” by the CAF General Staff in November of 2002.


North American P-51 - History

North American designed and built the P-51 in an unbelievable 117 days. An exceptional long range bomber escort and a fast and furious dog fighter, the P-51 qualified 281 allied pilots as Aces, second only to the Hellcat with 307 Aces. Most P-51s were manufactured in Inglewood, CA and tested over Mines Field, now LAX.

The answer to a fighter pilot’s dream, the Mustang had the ability to fly farther and faster than any other combat aircraft of WWII. The D model sported a new bubble canopy, six .50 caliber Browning machine guns and the new Merlin engine improved its high altitude performance. Two other developments improved the capabilities of the P-51, the G-Suit, which applied pressure to the lower body to increased blood flow to the head, and the K-14 gyroscopic gunsight. This P-51 was a well-known racer and won a string of victories in the Bendix Air Races.

It was procured by Yanks in 1987.

DISPLAY STATUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN CURRENT LOCATION
Milik Amerika Syarikat Legends Hangar
PURPOSE & TYPE MATERIALS ERA & DATE RANGE
Bomber, Fighter Keluli World War II
1939 – 1945
PRODUCTION &
ACQUISITION
SPESIFIKASI SERVICE HISTORY
MFG: Amerika Utara
First Produced: 1941
Nombor Dibina: 15,686 total 7,956 P-51D Models
Persenjataan: (6) .50 caliber machine guns in wings, (2) 1,000 lb bombsIt was procured by Yanks in 1987.
Bahagian sayap: 37’
Kawasan Sayap: 233 sq ft
Panjang: 32’3”
Ketinggian: 12’2”
Berat kosong: 6,970 lbs
Gross Weight: 10,5000 lbs
Jana kuasa: Packard V1650-7 Merlin 68
Thrust:
Kelajuan Pelayaran: 362 mph
Kelajuan maksimum: 437 mph
Julat: 2,080 miles
Delivered: July 10, 1945

Julai 1945 – 2116th AAF Base Unit (ATC), Napier AAF, AL
Nov 1945 – 2225th AAF Base Unit (ATC), Moody AAF, GA
Mar 1946 – 2537th AAF Base Unit (ATC), Perrin AAF, TX
Nov 1946 – San Antonio Air Material Center, Kelly AAF, TX
Jan 1948 – 195th Fighter Squadron (ANG), Van Nuys AP, CA
Jun 1948 – 188th FS (ANG), Kirtland AFB, NM
Feb 1951 – 188th FS Assigned to Air Defense Command
May 1951 – 188th FS (ADC), Long Beach AFB, CA
Nov 1952 – 354th FS (ADC), Long Beach AFB, CA
Feb 1953 – To Oxnard AFB, CA
June 1953 – 440th FS (ADC) Geiger AFB, WA with a deployment to McChord AFB, WA
Sept 1953 – 116th FS (ANG) Geiger AFB, WA
Jan 1954 – 179th FS (ANG) Duluth AP, MN
Aug 1954 – 112th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (ANG) Akron-Canton AP, OH
Aug 1956 – Sacramento Air Materiel Are, McClellan AFB


All the Way to Berlin with Mustangs

The Supermarine Spitfire could bob and weave, but North American Aviation’s P-51 Mustang was the fighter that could go the distance—and it did, escorting B-17s and B-24s on bombing missions deep inside Germany. When outfitted with external fuel tanks, the Mustang could fly more than 2,000 miles without a refill, but with a top speed of 437 mph, it was more akin to a racehorse than a camel. Four Browning .50- caliber machine guns (increased to six in the P-51Ds) made the Mustang a prodigious dogfighter, though pilots rarely passed up the opportunity to strafe Luftwaffe airfields on their way home from escort missions.

In 1942, a British-initiated upgrade endowed the Mustang with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (built Stateside by Packard) its two-stage supercharger gave the P-51 power up high, where the bombers flew, and made it 50 mph faster.

In August and October 1943, the Eighth Air Force lost so many B-17s during raids that the Allies temporarily suspended long-range bombing. In 1944, newly arrived P-51s gave the Eighth the confidence to again strike deep. After General Jimmy Doolittle ordered fighter squadrons to hunt the enemy interceptors instead of flying close formations with bombers they escorted, P-51 victories rose.

Mustangs were the mounts of the 332nd Fighter Group, the first African American fighter unit, which flew escort missions in Italy during 1944. Commanded by West Point graduate Benjamin O. Davis, the Red Tails—a nickname based on the identification paint on their airplanes—shot down 111 enemy aircraft.

By D-Day—June 6, 1944—the Combined Bomber Offensive from England and Italy had broken the Luftwaffe. Barely able to replace lost aircraft, having to ration fuel, and only marginally able to train replacements for the pilots lost each month, its leaders transferred pilots from the Eastern Front, with little consequence. “I don’t remember anyone who came to us from the East who survived,” recalled fighter commander Kurt Buehligen to historian Christian Sturm in 1985, adding “these fellows simply had no real comprehension of what we were faced with in the air.”


The P-51 Mustang Fighter, a North American Aviation, is one of the most iconic fighter / fighter bombers that is single-seated and was used during World War 2. In total over 15,000 of these were manufactured.

The Mustang was designed originally to be used with the Allison V-1710 engine – making it a very good aircraft. When the B & C models were made of the P-51, they added a Rolls Royce Merlin engine and this completely transformed its performance at high altitude (15,000+ feet) which meant it matched or even bettered that of the Luftwaffe’s fighter jets.

The final version of the P-51 was the P-51D, and this was powered by yet another engine, the Packard V-1650-7, and was fully armed with .50 caliber M2 machine guns (6 in total on each jet).

From late in 1943 P-51’s were used to escort bombers in raids over occupied Europe and over Germany, all the way to Berlin. The P-51’s with the Merlin engines were also used as fighter-bombers which made sure that the Allied ruled supreme in the air in 1944.

The P-51 was also used in service with Allied air forces in Italian, Mediterranean and North African areas of service and also saw action in the Pacific War against the Japanese. Within World War 2, P-51 pilots claim to have shot down 4,950 enemy aircraft.


The P-51D Mustang – A Very Brief History

The P-51 was originally designed for the British who needed more aircraft than they could produce for their fight with the Allies against the Nazis. The United States had not yet joined the fight, but they were assisting with essential supplies including aircraft.

The British Purchasing Commission was negotiating with North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license however NAA preferred to design their own aircraft rather than reproduce an older design.

Remarkably, NAA had the prototype NA-73X airframe ready just 102 days after the contract with the Purchasing Commission was signed. It first flew a little over a month later after fit out.

The first P-51s relied on the Allison V-1710 aero engine however it lacked high-altitude performance compared to the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. This issue was solved with the Packard V-1650-7, this was a license-built version of the Merlin that transformed the P-51, turning it into one of the best fighters of WWII.

Over the course of the war the various iterations of the Mustang would have claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft in Europe, North Africa, the Pacific, and other theatres of war. The Mustang would be put to use in the Korean War until it was largely replaced by jets, but some airforces would keep the Mustang flying well into the 1980s.

Today the Mustang remains a very popular choice with wealthy private owners and air racers, they’re a common sight at events like the Reno Air Races and they’ve typically been modified heavily from their original military configuration to produce even more power.

Images courtesy of Platinum Fighter Sales

Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

This article and its contents are protected by copyright, and may only be republished with a credit and link back to Silodrome.com - ©2021

The Chevrolet K5 Blazer you see here has been modified with a brand new 376 cu. in. LS3 crate engine producing 480 hp – considerably more than even the highest power engine option was…

This documentary gives a fascinating and detailed look into the highly competitive world of American drag racing in the 1960s. The film covers the 10th annual NHRA Nationals, the AHRA Winter Championship, and the AHRA…

The Boeing Stearman Model 75 was the most prolific American biplane trainer aircraft of the Second World War, over 10,000 were built and they were the first aircraft flown by many of America’s WWII…

The most memorable vehicles in the M*A*S*H TV series were almost certainly the twin Bell 47 choppers that featured heavily in the opening credits – the helicopter you see here was the one closest to the camera…

The first generation Ford Bronco is one of the most beloved and desirable American four-wheel drives of all time, their values have been skyrocketing in recent years and rare Broncos like the one you…

The Barebones Pulaski Axe is a modern version of the legendary Pulaski axe which was invented by Ed Pulaski in 1911 to fight forest wildfires in the United States. Pulaski created a new kind…

We launched the first official Silodrome apparel store in 2020 – grab yourself a t-shirt and help support a truly independent publication, every single sale matters. Visit The Store Here

Silodrome was founded in 2010 as a website dedicated to Gasoline Culture and all it entails - We write about modern cars, classic cars, motorcycles, racing, gear, gadgets, clothing, boats, planes, airships and the occasional submarine.Read more.

© Silodrome 2021. all rights reserved. Powered by Gasoline and Caffeine.


Mustang P-51D Amerika Utara

The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most important aircraft, and arguably the finest all-around fighter type, of World War II. The prototype NA-73X first flew in October 1940. It was designed and built in 120 days in response to an urgent request by the British for a low-altitude fighter/reconnaissance aircraft. It combined the proven Allison V-1710 engine with an innovative cooling system, based on earlier work by the Curtiss Aircraft Company, with laminar-flow wings to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase speed. The U.S. Army Air Forces soon began acquiring their own Allison-powered version and a dive-bombing variant called the A-36 Apache. These first Mustangs were a capable aircraft but much potential remained.

Needing a fighter with better high-altitude performance and following the example of the Curtiss P-40F, North American mated the proven Mustang airframe with the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The result was the P-51B Mustang, a long-range, high-performance fighter-bomber with the range to escort bombers from Britain to Berlin and back again. The famous D model incorporated a bubbletop canopy and a total of six .50-caliber machine guns. In the Pacific, the P-51 escorted B-29s on very long range bombing raids over Tokyo.

P-51s continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force into the Korean War (redesignated F-51) and Air National Guard Units well into the 1950s. Many served in the air forces of other countries into the 1980s. Additionally, highly modified Mustangs have enjoyed great success as air racers. More than 15,000 units of the famous fighter were produced.

Although almost certainly one of the best P-51D restorations in existence, the Museum's aircraft retains a certain mystery as to its history. The aircraft is likely serial number 44-72423, which was built by North American Aviation in 1944. It was accepted by the U.S. Army Air Forces for shipment to Europe for duty with the Eighth or Ninth Air Force. After the war, it was acquired for the Swedish Air Force in 1945 or 1946. The Swedes acquired nearly all of their 100 P-51s from war-surplus U.S. Army Air Forces stockpiles in Germany at the end of World War II, making this airframe a probable wartime veteran.

Last serving operationally with the Israeli Defense Force/Air Force (IDF/AF 146), the aircraft was probably acquired by Israel from surplus Royal Swedish Air Force stocks in 1952. (Unfortunately, when Israel acquired its P-51s, many of them had their original manufacturer's data plates removed.) The Mustang was later acquired by UK citizen Robs Lamplough between 1976 and 1978, then sold to a Canadian broker, and later sold to Jack Erickson in Tillamook, Oregon.

This restored aircraft displays the colors and markings of Lieutenant Colonel Glenn T. Eagleston while he was commanding officer of the 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, flying from Rosières-en-Haye, France in early 1945. This was the same unit of young Lieutenant Kenneth H. Dahlberg. Many years later, Ken Dahlberg, an ace in his own right, was the primary benefactor in the creation of the Kenneth H. Dahlberg Military Aviation Research Center, now the Dahlberg Research Center, here at the Museum. This accurate restoration was completed for The Museum of Flight by the Champion Air Group and the restoration team at Vintage Airframes in Caldwell, Idaho.


Tonton videonya: Karakteristik Benua Amerika Utara