Gentile and the Shangri-la

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Shangrila, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Shangrila

    Shangrila New Member

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    #1 Shangrila, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
    Hello everyone...first time post!

    I grew up in Piqua, OH, hometown of Don Gentile. He was always a hometown hero, my grandparents knew him, my uncle watched him fly under the bridge, and my aunt told me how he used to see how close he could get his wingtips to the St. Boniface church steeple.

    When I was about 16 I worked at a local grocery store, Ulbrich's IGA, just a few blocks from the Gentile home, where Don's father, Patsy, still lived. Old man Ulbrich would have us carryouts help Patsy carry home his groceries (usually beer) and I always volunteered for the task since it gave me a chance to talk to Patsy about Don.

    That's been 30 years ago now, time flies, but long story short....I have a piece of the ill-fated Shangri-La. It's a hang tag of some sorts, very old, marked faintly in pencil with the P51/B, 4th FG, VF-T, and the aircraft serial number which is correct to the Shangrila. It was supposedly taken off after the crash of the plane in 1944.

    I'm not asking for any verification, as I know it is genuine....but if I were to post a pic of the piece, is there anyone here that could verify where it came from inside the P51 ?

    dg1.jpg
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Please post it!
     
  3. Shangrila

    Shangrila New Member

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    I've added the pic...it's about the best I can capture it. The writing is VERY faint, totally correct, but you can see it in the proper lighting.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #4 FLYBOYJ, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
    It looks like general parts tag assigned to a time control change item. Considerig you know the source and it's swerialized to Gentile's plane, its a nice collectors piece. What doest the "AAFBU #" read?
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great piece of history, however small. The rumours still persist that the wreck of the P51 was bulldozed into a pond on the farmer's land at the edge of Debden airfield - wonder if it's still under 67 years worth of mud?!!
     
  6. Shangrila

    Shangrila New Member

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    The tag reads:

    MODEL P.51

    AF# 43-6913

    ASSIGNED TO AAPBU# 363/4FG

    BASIC WT. (nothing written)

    INDEX VF-T

    I was told once that even the instruments on display at Wright Pat AFB Musuem aren't really confirmed as parts of the Shangri-La....althought they probably are considering.

    One of the most famous figher aircraft in history, easily in the top 5 for sure....and no one seems to know what happened to the remains.....what a shame.:cry:
     
  7. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    WOW!!!!:shock: What a piece of history you have there!:thumbright: Very cool! Thank you for posting Shangrila.:cool:
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Seems to match up to the real thing, pretty cool.
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool and welcome aboard!
     
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