P-51 Mustang Ridge Runner III Nose Art Panel
Flown by Maj. Pierce 'Mac' McKennon
Demensions: 18 x 40"
After McKennon washed out of the USAAF training program, he enlisted into the RCAF and finally made it to a Spitfire squadron based in Britain. After transferring to the USAAF in November 1942, McKennon was shot down two times.
He was able to avoid being captured the first time and he was escorted out by the French Resistance. The 2nd time, one of the other pilots were able to land and fly him back to Debden setting in the pilot's lap!
He ended up flying the P-51 Mustang were he scored a total of 11 aerial victories and had a 9.68 strafing kills.
The new model P-51 Mustang proved to be an undeniable success. The Luftwaffe learned to respect the P-51 because of it's versatility, speed, range and high altitude performance. With it's added range it made an excellent choice to be an escort for our heavy bombers that took deep into enemy territory.
Later on in the war P-51 mustangs escorted bombers all the way to Poland from Great Britten.
Japan also learned early on to respect the P-51 mustang fighter flown by the Allied forces 14th Air Force in China. These long range bomber escorts were used in many theaters of war in the Pacific. Japanese forces suffer heavy loses due to the introduction of the Awesome P-51 Mustang fighter airplanes.
Being able to master the P-51 Mustang toke plenty of hard work. To become a first-rate fighter pilot you had to master not only being the pilot but also being the navigator bombardier, gunner, and radio operator. This was a big task for any fighter pilot to master.