Last days of the ‘Cadillac of the Sky’

wwiiafterwwii has a great and very detailed article about the P-51 Mustang and its use after VJ-Day. Whereas the Navy shed their F6F Hellcats and the Army Air Corps scrapped their P-38, 39, 40, 47 and 61 fleets wholesale, the National Guard and (after 1947) the Air National Guard kept the Mustang around for a generation.

And it is filled with excellent photos of piston-engined fighter bombers in an age of F-86s.

A 1947 recruitment ad for the Army National Guard featuring the P-51 Mustang

A 1947 recruitment ad for the Army National Guard featuring the P-51 Mustang

F-51D Mustangs of the Utah, California, and Nevada ANGs in 1948-- all part of the 144th FG

F-51D Mustangs of the Utah, California, and Nevada ANGs in 1948– all part of the 144th FG

P-51 mustang pilot of the North Dakota ANG in 1953, wearing Korean War-era helmet and flight suit 119th Fighterwing, North Dakota, 1953

P-51 mustang pilot of the North Dakota ANG in 1953, wearing Korean War-era helmet and flight suit 119th Fighterwing, North Dakota, 1953

Minnesota ANG F-51D Mustang, 1953

Minnesota ANG F-51D Mustang, 1953

Some of which were kept in service due to local limitations on jets.

From the article:

One of the factors that gave the Mustang a long life in West Virginia was that, as late as the mid-1950s, Kanawha Airport lacked the ability to land jets. In December 1955 the 167th moved to newly-expanded ANG Base Martinsburg, but continued flying F-51s while it’s jet successor was selected by the Pentagon. In 1957 the squadron (the final American unit still operating the WWII Mustang) converted to the F-86 Sabre.

More here

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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