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Old 28th July 2006, 04:43
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
Alter Hase
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Captured P-51C T9+CK

Just received my copy of "Luftwaffe in Focus-Spezial 2" and found some fascinating information. The elusive silver P-51B T9+CK with a fin strake that was first seen in the book "The Luftwaffe: A Photographic Memory" by Karl Ries is finally identified as 42-103458 of the 318th Fighter Squadron,325th Fighter Group. This plane was one of four P-51s of the 318th FS who were detailed to escort a F-5E of the 32nd Suqadron, 5th PRG on December 9th,1944. All failed to return,due to adverse weather conditions.
Two of the P-51s, the P-51D 44-15174 flown by Lt. Norval Weers and the P-51B 42-103458 flown by Lt. Thomas Todd landed in a field in Austria,near the Hungarian border. While Lt. Weers crash landed his plane (wheels up), Lt. Todd who was the element leader landed wheels down.
I had some correspondence with Norval Weers in 1995 and in one of his letters he wrote: "Lt. Todd did indeed land with his wheels down. It has been a long time,but I am reasonably sure he made the statement he was planning to land and pick me up and fly back to base." Strange, considering he probably had insufficient gas to return to base.

The two P-51s were retrieved by 2/OKL-Versuchs Verband. The P-51D flown by Lt. Weers was 35% damaged,and was only used for parts. The P-51B was assigned to 2/OKL-Versuchs Verband AKA Zirkus Rosarius.

One flaw in the article is that the date is incorrect. The author Alex Urbanke places the loss of 42-103458 on September 12,1944. BTW, there is a picture of this P-51B while in 325th FG service in the book "Aces Pliots and Aircraft of the 9th ,12th and 15th USAAF" by David weatherill.
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