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Photo ID: 1015042
click image to enlarge
Model: North American F-51D Mustang Registration: 474873 Tail Number
Year: 1944 Serial Number: See below
Engine(s): Rolls-Royce Merlin V-1650 Owner: USAF
Location: Near Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, or Williams AFB, Airzona? Photographer: USAF, from the collection of Ken Stoltzfus
Date: January 5, 1950 Present Registration: Unknown Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 6/29/04 - Four F-51Ds in nice formation. All were built in North American's Inglewood, CA plant as the P-51D-30-NA, North American model NA-122. They built 6500 P-51Ds in that plant and 1600 in their Dallas facility, as part of the total P-51 Mustang series of nearly 15,500 aircraft! The P-51(Pursuit) designation was changed to F-51 (Fighter) in 1948.

The lower aircraft is PF-873, s/n 44-74873, tail #474873, c/n 122-41413 . Note that the "873" is smaller than the "474". Apparently the rudder had been repaired/refinished and they used a different size stencil. The aircraft were about six years old by now so possibly the fabric had been replaced. I can read "Williams A F Base Ariz" on the side there. It almost looks like the model is given as TF-51D or TP-51D, but I don't think that the "T" (Trainer, two-place) is possible.

Next is PF-926, s/n 44-74926, tail #474926 and c/n 122-41466. It has also had some rudder work and the numbers have not been put back on yet. Above '926 is PF-411, s/n 44-74411, tail #474411 and c/n 122-40951. And finally, PF-443, s/n 44-74443, tail #474443, c/n 122-40983 which also has the smaller tail number on the rudder.

I can't find that any of these aircraft are still around. Joe Baugher says of 44-47443, "74443 (3595th Pilot Training Wing, 3595 M&S Group, 3595 MS) lost control during aerobatics Jul 7, 1950 and crashed 20 Mi NE of Nellis AFB, NV. Pilot killed."

An excellent web site on P-51's, which has links to several other good sites.

The back of this photo is stamped, "Official photograph. If published use the following credit line: Photograph by U.S. Air Force". On the front it says SAFB - 2G - 5 Jan 50. SAFB is Sheppard Air Force Base, which is near Wichita Falls, TX.
 
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