Raid On Obersaltzburg - North American Mustang
RAF North American Mustang III of 316 (Polish) Squadron by Aviation Artist Roger H. Middlebrook GAvA
Towards the end of WWII the P-51 was used on long range escort missions by not only the USAAF, but the RAF as well. Making up the equipment of many of the Polish Fighter Squadrons. Here a Mk.III (P-51B) of No.316 (Polish) Squadron escort Lancaster bombers over Obersaltzberg on 25th April 1945
Built to a British requirement, the original P-51A model (Mustang I in RAF service) was restricted in its abilities due to its Alison engine. With the fitting of a licence built Rolls Royce Merlin, the aircraft took on a new life and proved to be one of the weapons that helped tip the air-war in favour of the Allies.
Polish squadrons first equipped with the Mustang III in April 1944 and were to fly both this and the later Mustang IV (P-51D) during their time with the American aircraft. One notable improvement introduced on most British and Polish Mustangs was the 'Malcolm' canopy which greatly improved the vision from the cockpit over that of the standard P-51B. Though not officially adopted by the USAAF, the canopies are often to be seen on American aircraft, having been acquired by fair means or foul!