North American P-51B Mustang
North American P-51B 42-106872 “PATTY ANN II”,
1st Lt. John F Thornell Jr, 328th FS, 352nd FG, Bodney, July 1944.
The legend that we know today as the North American P-51B Mustang did not begin with a very auspicious start. Initially fitted with the Alison engine, it was not until October 1942 with the installation of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 as fitted to the Spitfire and Hurricane that the outstanding performance of the Mustang was to show through.
Fitted with four 0.50″ calibre Browning machine guns and able to carry either long range tanks or bombs under the wing the P-51B Mustang was as at home whether it was in a fighter escort role or in ground attack mode. The P-51 Mustang like so many aircraft of World War II would continue to evolve with early P-51Bs being retrofitted with a blown canopy known as the ‘Malcolm Hood’ to improve pilot visibility, before its most famous incarnation as the P-51D.
Finishing the war as the Group’s third ranking ace, and top-scorer of the 328th Fighter Squadron, Thornell opened his account with 4.25 P-47 victories. He in fact led the Group’s scoring league table until his return to the USA in June 1944, giving Maj George E Preddy and Lt Col John Meyer the opportunity to overtake him! When he left the squadron in July 1944 he was the first of the unit’s pilots to reach 300 operational hours, and had amassed 17.25 aerial victories (13 while flying P-51 Mustangs) and two ground victories. Thornell scored nine of his 17.5 aerial victories in PATTY ANN II, these being claimed between 8th May and 21st June 1944. Many historians have described this P-51 Mustang as being fitted with a Malcolm hood during its operational life but in reality the replacement hood was actually a Spitfire canopy. PATTY ANN II was downed by German fighters on the 12th of September 1944, killing the pilot, Lt Joseph Broadwater.
Source: Osprey Aviation Books, Aircraft Of The Aces Vol 1. ISBN 1-85532-447-4
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 6.17″ (156 mm)
Base size 6.37″ (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 8.75 ozs (247 grams) Limited edition of 25 only
Price £90.00 plus delivery