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P-51D Mustang 'Jersey Jerk'

During WWII Major Donald Strait was assigned to the 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group, 8th USAAF. During his 2 combat tours Strait flew 122 missions scoring 13.5 victories making him the 356th FG top Ace. 10.5 victories were scored in a P-51 Mustang. The P-51 Major Strait is best known for was his “Jersey Jerk” 44-15152. In late 1944 he became the CO of the 361st FS. After WWII he joined the New Jersey Air National Guard and became a Squadron Commander and Wing Commander. His other achievements were graduating Air War College, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the AF Reserve and ROTC Affairs, retired as a Major General in 1978. He was decorated 9 times and the final honour was induction into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame.

Designed to meet an RAF requirement for fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-51 Mustang was first flown on October 26th, 1940. This versatile aircraft was capable of escorting bombers on long-range missions, engaging in dogfights, and dropping down to destroy German targets on the ground. At least eight versions of the P-51 were produced, but it was the definitive P-51D that gave the Mustang its classic warbird appearance. Britain and the US both tested the airframe with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, which gave the aircraft tremendous performance gains. The Truman Senate War Investigating Committee called the Mustang "the most aerodynamically perfect pursuit plane in existence."

North American P-51D Mustang

Year of Manufacture: 1947

Powered by: Packard Merlin V-1650-7


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