P-51 B/C/D service deployment and strenght

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Tante Ju, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    Hi,

    I would like to know if anybody has any information regarding the deployment of Merlin P-51s. In particular, I am interested in how the P-51 frontline strenght developed during 1944, i.e. how fast were the early four gun B models were replaced by later D models. On pictures and videos one can typically see D Mustangs, but to me it seems likely that for a while early Bs and Ds were operated in a mixed fashion, with some units still operating B Mustangs. In short, is there some kind of information on how the relative numbers of these subtypes related to each other and how fast the D model Mustang replaced the earlier types?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. timmy

    timmy Member

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    Well according to Wikipedia North American P-51 variants - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    B/C's arrived October 43, D's mid 1944. Production of B (2000 units) C (1750 units) D (8102 units)


    It mentions at the end of the P51d and P51k section that

    Now that blows my mind . Surely these B/C's where not in front line units ???????????
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The P-51D's were allocated evenly between MTO and ETO in the late July to August 1944 but thereafter the ETO FG's got about 2/3 of the European allocations and the PTO started getting their Mustangs in the summer of 1944, along with the RAAF license built P-51D/Mark IV's..
     
  4. TheMustangRider

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    Are there any figures or data available as to what percentage of Mustangs were allocated to the CBI?
    I've see a couple of pictures of weather-battered P-51s sporting the famous shark teeth nose art in the Far East but have not been able to find any substantial data so far.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had the time to go through the data available at USAFHRC in the 'tub files' - I suspect you would have to do Kentucky windage and look at 23rd, 2nd Air Commando, 5th Provisional, 15th, 35th, 51st, 311th FG deployment/assignments.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #6 drgondog, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    Heck yes they were. A lot of P-51 pilots liked the performance better than the D-s but the D/K was probably a better combat fighter all around, whereas the B/C had better performance but less range and firepower and visibility. Having said that, the B/C's were rapidly being phased out in fall 1944 as WW or RTU/Clobber College mounts and the operational ones were largely being flown by F/O and 2nd Lts.

    Note that the P-51B/C had wing pylons stressed to only 500 pound (75 gallons tank) load. They did, however carry 110 gallon fuel tanks in selected long range escorts but careful to not do much while tanks still full.
     
  7. TheMustangRider

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    Thanks drgondog.
    I've done some preliminary reading on the 23rd and will do a research on those units you mentioned.
     
  8. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting to compare the the late '44 P-51B/C with the excellent Fw-190D-9. While not as heavily armed as the Fw, the performance of the P-51 compares favorably to the Fw in airspeed and climb from SL to 20k where the P-51B/C starts having much better performance. The P-51B/C was a formidable fighter to the end of the war.
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The D-9 was sort of a hour late, dollar short fighter.
    It's level of performance was offered by Allied fighters a year earlier; in the important altitude belt (20-30000 ft) the D-9 was lagging behind. The D-9 was matched in LW by the DB-605AS/ASM engined versions of the BF-109 some 5 months earlier. The performance gain vs. 1942 Bf-109s was negligible, admittedly the D-9 carrying more weaponry (but still not a bomber busting arsenal).
     
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