Air Supremacy Over The Reich - P-51D Mustang
North American P-51D Mustang Aircraft AviationArt Print by Airplane Artist Roger H. Middlebrook GAvA
One of the most renowned fighter aircraft ever produced, the P-51 changed the situation of the air war in Europe, almost over night. Rising bomber losses towards the end of 1943 brought the strategic bombing offensive of the USAAF 8th Air Force to a near halt. Though fighter escorts were available in the P-38 Lightning and P-47 Thunderbolt, neither had, at that time, the range required for true deep penetration. With the introduction of the P-51 came new fighter groups, the most successful of which in terms of aerial victories was the 357th Fighter Group, flying out of Leiston, Suffolk.
Here one of the groups top aces C.E ‘Bud’ Anderson is seen in company with his wingman, Jim Browning. Anderson would end the war with 16.5 kills and go on to have a long service after the war, seeing further action in Vietnam. His aircraft, ‘Old Crow’ has become one of the best known of any P-51 with other Mustang’s painted up as the aircraft on both sides of the Atlantic.
Browning named his Mustang ‘Gentleman Jim’ and would score 7 victories before being posted as missing on February 9th 1945. In memory of his wingman, Anderson named his son Jim.