Author Topic: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang  (Read 4223 times)

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Offline comrade harps

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Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« on: December 24, 2013, 12:57:29 am »
North American P-51H-25NA Mustang
"Jungle Queen" personal mount of Major John Hopkins
462 Fighter squadron, 506 Fighter Group
Airfield No. 2, Iwo Jima, (occupied) Japan
16 February, 1946



The P-51H Mustang began taking over from the P-51D at Iwo Jima with the 462nd Fighter Squadron in January, 1946. The -25 model of the H had been specifically designed for the VLR (Very Long Range) role, with extra internal fuel, VLR avionics and the ability to carry 165 (US) gallon drop tanks from a sub-type-specific underwing pylon (without recourse to the wooden sway braces used on the P-51D - although their size and location meant that the central MG shell ejection chute on each wing had to be routed via the inside of the pylon itself). The type proved to be a worthy successor to the P-51D and by the end of the war against Japan in May, 1946, all of the USAAF's VLR fighter units at Iwo Jima were flying either the P-51H or P-47N.





As the 462 FS didn't have a Mustang with a serial code ending in 462, the squadron's commander chose was his personal mount a plane whose serial ended with the Fighter Group's number of 506. Within the VLR community at Iwo Jima, each aircraft featured a large three-digit code on the fuselage: for the 426nd, this side code began with 500. By convention, the squadron commander should have used the side number 500, but instead Maj Hopkins was permitted to fly with 506. The Group Commander, Lt. Colonel James Patrick, apparently relented to Hopkin's use of this plane as he had chosen as his personal mount a plane whose last four digits matched his birth date and flew this plane with the side number 002 (a reference to his Group's use of Iwo Jima's Airfield No.2). Hopkins would later say that he told Lt. Col. patrick that "6 was is lucky number." The "Jungle Queen" name and nose art applied to to 506 was a continuation of a  tradition from when Maj. Hopkins had flown P-40s in the Solomons.



The four kills on this iteration of Jungle Queen are an accumulation of Maj. Hopkin's kills from 1943 through to the February, 1946. During his 15 VLR missions (a standard tour of duty for VLR pilots, which did not include aborted VLR missions or combat sorties of shorter duration, such as patrols around Iwo Jima or strafing runs against targets in the Bonin Island group), the Major scored four aerial victories. On 16 February, 1946, he shot down a Ki-84 near Tokyo, prompting the addition of a fourth kill marking on 506 and the taking of a series of celebratory photographs (from which this model is based). Further kill markings were added in March, when VLR missions supporting the Y-Day invasion of Honshu met with increased Japanese air activity. On Y-Day, 1 March, Major Hopkins shot down a Ki-43 and Ki-100 and two days later added a turbojet-powered Yokosuka Model 43B Otsu "Ohka" kamikaze plane.





Each VLR fighter squadron on Iwo Jima had unit-specific and high-visibility paint work. Within the 506 FG, the 462nd's planes were adorned with black and yellow (and used 500 series numbers), the 457th used dark blue (withe 600 series side numbers) and orange and the 478th green with white (with 700 series numbers). These served to assist with formation flying, visual identification by B-29 navigation lead ship crews and also added to the esprit de core of personnel.



The Y letter on the tail and wings was a reference to Airfield No.2 on Iwo Jima.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 02:25:42 am by comrade harps »
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Offline sandiego89

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 03:49:11 am »
Nice color choices.
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

Offline kerick

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 05:15:56 am »
Nice job on the model, the paint look great. Good back story too.
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 05:52:47 am »
Looks great, but which kit did you use as a basis?
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

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Offline Librarian

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 06:12:44 am »
I've been hoping that one of the Chinese companies will issue a P-51H and an MB.5. They would look so good together.

Love the blacks and yellows of those squadrons, looks lovely on the H :thumbsup:.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 06:43:44 am »
which kit did you use as a basis?

and what scale ?

I've got a couple of 1/72 injection kits in the stash of the 'H'
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 07:31:01 am »
Gorgeous  :wub:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 11:33:01 am »
Wow is that ever ! Love the colours. And so nice to see an H. Always liked the look.

But, If it's Hopper's plane, it should be number 22, and a Suzuki  :thumbsup:
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 02:04:09 pm »
The kit's the new RS Models 1:72nd P-51H. Nice kit.

I bought it two Saturdays ago, started it the next day and finished it yesterday. I knew right away what I was going to do with it and that I wanted to challenge myself with the racing car-like paint job. The Y and squadron badge the decals are from the Italeri B-26C and are French, but some the stars and bars and the numbers are from the kit. Jungle Queen is from an Xtradecal set Yanks with Roundels Pt.4 that I got at the same time as the P-51H - it was always going to adorn this model.

I've been trying to be more intuitive and immediate in my modelling choices this year and not over-think things. The P-51H is quite a turn-around from the Yak-3 I finished on the same day I started it - one with a simple, curvy, two-tone grey low-viz scheme and the next with bright, high-viz, high contrast straight lines an all.

Thank you again for your positive responses, I'm really proud of this one.

Merry Christmas!
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 02:38:15 pm »
It's turned out very well, I like it  :thumbsup:
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 02:43:41 pm »
That's good news, I've got that RS kit already and it looks really good. :thumbsup:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 04:45:24 am »
Nice and colorful bird! I alsohave the RS Models kit in my stash, and this build confirms the good impression.  :thumbsup:

Mine will probably turn into an early Luftwaffe aircraft, in NMF with bright markings.

Offline comrade harps

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 05:13:31 am »
Quote
Mine will probably turn into an early Luftwaffe aircraft, in NMF with bright markings.

Intriguing.
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Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 08:11:42 am »
I've been trying to be more intuitive and immediate in my modelling choices this year and not over-think things.

Good idea. I need to stop 'overthinking' mine as well. As that usually ends up being a second and/or third build of the same kit....and then none get finished !

PS-I like the idea of the ammo Shute routing through the drop tank.

 :cheers:
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 08:17:01 am »
The kit's the new RS Models 1:72nd P-51H. Nice kit.

I'll have to get one, the one's I have are the Beechnut (x2) and the High Planes kits.  Got some plans to build an 'F' and 'G' ---

I'm really proud of this one.

You should be too, really nice model you've done
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