North American A-36 Apache
and
early model P-51 Mustangs



The North American A-36 Apache and early model P-51 Mustangs had a very different profile from the familiar P-51D. Here's a retrospective gallery of some surviving A-36A Apaches and P-51A, P-51B, and P-51C Mustanga.



A-36A c/n 97-15883

North American A-36A Apache 42-83665 Margie H at the U.S. Air Force Museum on August 17, 1998. Its slotted dive brakes can be seen extended above and below the wing.

The North American A-36A Apache that carries construction number 97-15883 is displayed at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. It flew for the Army Air Force as 42-83665. Kendall Everson and Essex Wire Corporation registered it as NX39502 in 1946. It flew as race #15 City of Lynchburg II in the 1947 Bendix Trophy race. It crashed during the race in Cleveland, Ohio on September 1, 1947. James Hannon and Hanby Enterprises changed its registration to N39502 in 1949 and flew it as race #2. Harry McCandless and Bill Widfelt acquired it in 1950. It was stored at Council Bluffs, Iowa from 1949 to 1954. Walter H. Erickson of Minneapolis, Minnesota bought it in 1954 and sold it to Charles P. Doyle of Rosemount, Minnesota in 1963. The U.S. Air Force Museum acquired it in 1971. The Minnesota Air National Guard restored it for static display in 1973. It is displayed with its original AAF serial number and is named Margie H.



A-36A c/n 97-15949

A-36A Apache 42-83731 on display at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

This A-36A Apache carries construction number 97-15949. It flew for the Army Air Force as 42-83731. Jack P. Hardwick of El Monte, California acquired it in 1950 and stored it in his yard until 1975. Thomas L. Camp of Livermore, California bought it in 1975. Dick Martin of Carlsbad, California registered it as N50452 in August 1980. It made its first flight after restoration in 1982. Tom Friedkin, Cinema Air Incorporated, and Chino Warbirds Incorporated of Carlsbad, California registered it as N251A in 1983. It was displayed at the Champlin Fighter Museumin Mesa, Arizona from 1991 to 1993 and than at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas from 1994 to 2001. It was taken to Duxford for the British airshow season on June 10, 2002. It returned to the United States in 2003 and at last report is undergoing rebuild at Chino.

A-36A Apache 42-83731 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992. The retracted slotted dive brake can be seen on the upper surface of the wing.

A-36A Apache 42-83731 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

A-36A Apache 42-83731 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

A-36A Apache 42-83731 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

A-36A Apache 42-83731 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.



P-51A c/n 99-22109

North American P-51A Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear North American P-51A-1NA Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear on static display at the Camarillo Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-in on August 25, 2001.

North American P-51A-1NA Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear carries construction number 99-22109. It served the the Army Air Force as 43-6006. It was accepted by the AAF at Mines Field, California on April 2, 1943. It was delivered to Army Air Corps Ladd Field at Fairbanks Alaska on May 1, 1943. It crashed near Summit Alaska on February 16, 1944. Its pilot, Lt. Edward W. Getter, was killed in the crash. Waldon "Moon" Spillers of Versailles, Ohio recovered the wreckage in October 1977. Some P-51D fuselage components were incorporated in its restoration. It made its first flight after restoration on July 3, 1985. Jerry Gabe of San Jose, california bought it in 1995. Dave Morss flew it in the Reno Air Races in 2005 and 2006.

North American P-51A Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear P-51A Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear at Camarillo on August 25, 2001.

North American P-51A Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear P-51A Mustang, N51Z Polar Bear at Camarillo on August 25, 2001.



P-51A c/n 99-22354

P-51A-10NA Mustang, NX4235Y on static display in Royal Air Force colors at the Chino Airshow on May 20, 1984.

P-51A-10NA Mustang, NX4235Y carries construction number 99-22354 and served the Army Air Force as 43-6251. Cal Aero Technical Institute of Glendale, California acquired it in 1946 and sold it to Ed Maloney and The Air Museum at Claremont, California in 1953. It made its first flight after restoration on August 19, 1981.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y taxiing at the Chino Airshow on May 20, 1984.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y on display at the Air Museum Planes of Fame on October 18, 1987.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y on display at the Air Museum Planes of Fame on August 9, 1992.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y on display at the Air Museum Planes of Fame on October 17, 1993.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y on display at the Planes of Fame Grand Canyon Museum at Valle, Arizona on August 16, 2001. It was restored as Royal Air Force Mustang AG470, RU-M and modified to resemble a photo-reconnaissance F-6B with a camera port behind the cockpit.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y on display at the Planes of Fame Grand Canyon Museum on August 16, 2001.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y on display at the Planes of Fame Grand Canyon Museum on August 16, 2001.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y was restored in Army Air Force markings and named Mrs Virginia when it appeared at the Planes of Fame Airshow at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, NL85104 and P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N and P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

P-51A Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.



P-51A c/n 99-22377

P-51A Mustang, N90358 on static display at the Yanks Air Museum at Chino on August 23, 2002.

P-51A Mustang, N90358 carries construction number 99-22377. It served the the Army Air Force as 43-6274. It entered the civil register as NX73630 after the war. Harry McCandless and Ben Widfelt registered it as N73630 in 1950. It was stored in the open at Council Bluffs, Iowa from 1949 to 1954. Walter H. Erickson of Minneapolis, Minnesota acquired it in 1953. Charles Nichols and the Yankee Air Corps at Chino registered it as N90358 in 1978. It is displayed in airworthy condition as 43-2674 at the Yanks Air Museum at Chino.

P-51A Mustang, N90358 on static display at the Yanks Air Museum on August 23, 2002.



P-51C c/n 103-26778

North American P-51B Mustang, N51PR Shangri La This Mustang was restored as P-51B-5 43-6913 Shangri La, which was flown by Don Gentile of the 336th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group, when it appeared at the Chino airshow on May 20, 1984. Gentile shot down at least 21 enemy airplanes and destroyed about nine on the ground. On April 13, 1944, Gentile was the ranking ace in the 8th Air Force. He buzzed Debden Airfield in Shangri La for the benefit of a gathering of reporters, but he inadvertantly struck the ground, and the plane never flew again.

This Mustang is a composite airframe made from the wings of a P-51B and fuselage components from more than one P-51D. The construction number of the wings is 103-26778. It made its first flight on June 11, 1981. Peter Regina of Van Nuys, California registered it as N51PR. It flew as Shangri La. Joseph Kasparoff of Montebello, California acquired it in 1987, painted it red and flew it as The Believer, Race #97. Stephen Grey and The Fighter Collection had it shipped to Duxford, United Kingdom in 1996 where ii was restored as Princess Elizabeth. It was registered as G-PSIC on April 16, 1998. It returned to Pacific Fighters at Chino for restoration in November 1998 then went back to Duxford for reassembly in 2002. It flew again in 2005. Jim Beasley purchased it in December 2006 and had it shipped to Chino for rebuild. It was registered as N487FS on February 2, 2007.

P-51B-5 43-6913, N51PR Shangri La on static display at the Naval Air Station Point Mugu airshow on October 20, 1984.

P-51B-5 43-6913, N51PR Shangri La takes off with P-51D N44727 Man-O-War at the Naval Air Station Point Mugu airshow on October 20, 1984.

North American P-51C Mustang, N51PR The Believer This Mustang was painted as The Believer, N51PR Race #97 when it visited the Santa Barbara Airport on January 7, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 at Santa Barbara on January 7, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 at Santa Barbara on January 7, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 at Santa Barbara on January 7, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 taking off from Santa Barbara on January 7, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 taking off from Santa Barbara on January 7, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 at Santa Monica on May 19, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 at Santa Monica on May 19, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 taxies at Santa Maria on October 27, 1990.

The Believer, N51PR Race #97 takes off at Santa Maria on October 27, 1990.

North American P-51C Mustang Princess Elizabeth This Mustang was restored as P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth when it appeared on static display at the Planes of Fame Airshow at Chino on May 19, 2007. It is expected to fly again soon.

P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth at Chino on May 19, 2007.

P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth at Chino on May 19, 2007.

P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth at Chino on May 19, 2007.

P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth at Chino on May 19, 2007.

P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth at Chino on May 19, 2007.

P-51C-10NT 43-25147, N487FS Princess Elizabeth at Chino on May 19, 2007.



P-51C-10NT c/n 111-29080

P-51C-10NT Mustang N1202 Excalibur III on display at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles on November 28, 1986.

P-51C-10NT Mustang N1202 Excaliber III carries construction number 111-29080. It served the the Army Air Force as 44-10947. Paul Mantz of Glendale, California bought it at at Stillwater Air Force Base, Oklahoma on February 19, 1946. He registered it as NX1202 on August 9, 1946. He equipped it with wet-wing fuel tanks and raced it in the transcontinental Bendix Trophy Race as race #46, Excalibur. Mantz in Excaliber took first place in the 1946 and 1947 Bendix Trophy Races and second in the 1948 race. Mantz set coast-to-coast speed records in both directions in 1947. Herman Salmon raced it as race #60, Houstonian to third place in the 1949 Bendix Trophy Race. Charles F. Blair of New York, New York registered it as N1202 on May 27, 1950 and flew it as Excaliber III. On January 31, 1951, Blair set a new record in Houstonian for reciprocating-engine, propeller-driven airplanes for flight between New York and London that still stands. On May 29, 1951, Blair flew Excaliber III from Bardufoss. Norway to Fairbanks, Alaska by way of the North Pole. The flight earned Blair the 1952 Harmon International Trophy. Pan American Airlines bought Excaliber III from Blair and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution on November 6, 1953. Its restoration was completed in 1977. It was displayed at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles from the mid-1980s until 2000, when it was returned to the National Air and Space Museum. It is now displayed at the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport.

P-51C-10NT Mustang N1202 Excaliber III on display at the California Museum of Science and Industry on November 28, 1986.



Links

Link to the P-38 National Association Glacier Girl page.

Link to the Acepilots.com profile of Con Gentile.

Link to the National Air and Space Museum P-51C Excaliber III page.

Link to the Yanks Air Museum web site.

Link to the Air Museum Planes of Fame web site.

Link to the National Museum of the USAF North American A-36A Apache page.







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