A little P-51 History
Here's a gathering of some of the historical info I've gathered on the P-51, much of it from ATG members.
I hope you enjoy it.
[color=#0000FF]Before proceeding, I suggest viewing this clip from the movie "Empire Of The Sun"[/color]
Yes, that's pre-Bruce Wayne Christian Bale
The Bremont P-51 Mustang uses metal from the original 'skin' of the WWII plane 'Fragile But Agile'. The sub-dial as well as the rotor are made from this aluminum. There was enough metal for 251 watches.
Mr. English with the tail:
The P-51 Mustang was used for tactical reconnaissance and as a long range fighter bomber in the European and Pacific theaters during WWII, as well as the Korean War and other conflicts.
Fragile But Agile, piloted by Bert Lee, saw action in the Pacific during WWII. He is credited with two kills. Note the two 'Rising Suns'. (see below for more details).
Capt. Chuck Jaeger's P-51, Winter 1944:
The watch was designed with the P-51's instrument panel in mind.
The chrono hand is similar to the tail markings.
[color=#0000FF]History of Fragile But Agile from The Prodigal Guide:
FBA was rebuilt by Planes of Fame by the Hintons over the past few years, and has been flying as part of the Horsemen. It’s a well-decorated ‘plane, having flown in WW2 and the Bremont watch is made with original parts from this 1944 Mustang aircraft (P-51K-10 – serial number 44- 12016).
“FBA rolled off the North American Aviation assembly line in Dallas, Texas, on 18 December 1944 and was then loaded on a ship on the 15th January 1945 for an assignment in the Far East. It was to take part in the American campaign to retake the Philippine Islands from the Japanese. On arrival in the Pacific Theatre of Operations, the aircraft was assigned to the 342nd Fighter Squadron of the 348th Fighter Group, which then was stationed at the San Marcelino airbase, just north of Manila Bay. Lt. Bert Lee Jr. was assigned to fly the aircraft. Lt. Lee was credited with two confirmed victories during the war, which accounts for the two Japanese flags painted below his name on the plane – one was a Japanese A6M “Zero” fighter near Manila and the other a twin-engine “Betty” bomber.
“A lot of his missions in the P51 were ground support, in what was then Indochina. Lee and his Mustang both survived the war. Following its time in the US Air Force, FBA then spent time serving with both the Swedish and Israeli military before being overhauled and operated for many years by The Fighter Collection, based at Duxford in the UK. Recently, the Mustang was again treated to a major overhaul by Steve Hinton‟s Fighter Rebuilders at Chino, California having been acquired by the Friedkin Family‟s Comanche Fighter Collection.”[/color]
Most of the following sites have fantastic photos. This is from the site: 'P-51 Mustangs' regarding Fragile But Agile and its change of serial numbers upon its shipment from Sweden to Israel.
This is from a really cool site: 'Warbirds' regarding Fragile But Agile:
From Warbirds, this provides info on Fragile But Agile from original pilot Bert Lee's son:
[color=#0000FF]"Will do Dave, thanks for the reply
I have some photos of him with the P-47, and the P-51.
And of course I grew up listening to all the stories of his time in the Pacific.
He actually had three kills, the third being a B-24/25/26 (I can't remember which) Landing gear was stuck up with a full bomb load, crew bailed out and and my Dad was ordered to shoot it down.
So there should be an American Flag under the two meatballs!
- one of his favorite stories."
Mustang Battles in WWII:
This provides great info on the the Mustangs:
The Israeli Mustangs were provided by the US, Italy, and Canada. Their story in the '56 Sinai/Suez Campaign is fascinating:
[color=#0000FF] On the first day of operation - October 29th - another task was given to the Mustangs: disruption of enemy communications. The Mustangs were equipped with a weight attached to a cable, which was to be hung from the aircraft's tail. This device was supposed to cut the enemy's telephone line cables. Four Mustangs were equipped as "cable-cutters" and took off around noon, but upon arrival at the target, some of them had lost their equipment. Instead of aborting their mission, the pilots decided to pursue and cut the cable with their propellers and wings. This was particularly dangerous but the mission was a success.
The more conventional task assigned to the Mustang was delayed by a few days as the IAF High Command refused to allow piston-engined aircraft to enter the combat zone before air superiority was achieved. Only on October 31st did the Mustangs enter the fighting. They were mostly used on strike missions against enemy forces, outposts, fortified points, roads, shipping and other targets. The Mustangs flew 184 missions during the Suez crisis campaign, losing only 7 aircraft[/color]
Israeli Mustang vs. Egyptian Spitfire:
P-51 soaring on an Israeli beach:
Dust, sun heat and Spitfires:
The Mustangs from Sweden;
Sights, sounds and history of the Mustang:
Thanks to the forums from which I found many of these photos, including [color=#0000FF]ATG Vintage[/color].
"We'd better synchronize our watches."