Mk.IVa KH716 (P-51K-1-NT, 44-11483), S/Ldr Murray P. Nash, No. 3 Sqn RAAF, Fano, Italy, January 1945
The Royal Australian Air Force No. 3 Sqn spent all its WWII combat days in the Mediterranean theatre. The Australian pilots started their
combat with Gladiators, later using Hurricanes and Kittyhawks before converting to Mustangs Mk.III starting from November 13, 1944. The
first Mustang Mk.IVa arrived on November 26, 1944 (KH677) and was assigned to S/Ldr Murray Nash who changed it on December 12 for
the KH716. He used this one until he was sent for a Fighter Leader course in March 1945. The following month the KH716 was lost. The aircraft was left in natural metal finish, with the wing filled and sanded area painted silver as well as the control surfaces with the fabric cover.
The KH716 aircraft had unusually placed serial, partly overpainted by the code letter. The P letter was probably repainted or repaired, getting
slightly different shape at some time.
Mk.IVa KH852 (P-51K-5-NT; 44-11840), No. 112 Sqn, Cervia, Italy, April 1945
After disbanded in 1919 after the Great War, the squadron was re-formed on May 16, 1939 on board of the aircraft carrier HMS Argus
enroute to its destination in Egypt. The pilots had to wait for their first aircraft, obsolete Gloster Gladiators, until June, but during July 1941,
the squadron was one of the first in the world to become operational with the P-40 Tomahawk. The sharp nose with the large radiator inlet
inspired the personnel to paint their distinctive feature – the shark mouth, which gave the unit its nickname „Shark Squadron”. The unit
changed Tomahawks for P-40 Kittyhawks later and kept them during its Africa campaign and even after it moved to the Sicily in July, and
onto the Italian mainland in September 1943. Juna 1944 was the end of Kittyhawks at the squadron, as they were replaced by the Mustangs
Mk.III and, starting from February 1945, Mustangs Mk.IV arrived. The squadron remained in Italy as part of the occupying forces, until its
disbandment on December 30, 1946. The KH852 was natural metal and silver paint finished aircraft
with typical shark mouth.
Mk.IV KH663 (P-51D-5-NT, 44-11255), No. 303 (Polish) Sqn, Wick, England, December 1945
The famous No. 303 Sqn earned its reputation during the Battle of Britain flying the Hawker Hurricanes, later used several marks of Spitfires
for both aerial combat as well as strafing. It was the most effective of all the Polish squadrons with 297 aircraft destroyed during 9,900
combat sorties, not to mention ground targets destroyed. Poles started to re-equip with Mustang Mk.IVs at the beginning of April 1945 and
so the pilots only flew them in combat for less than a month as they flew their last mission on April 25, 1945. The unit was disbanded in December 1946. The KH663 had the British camouflage upper surfaces scheme of Dark Green and Sea Grey colours. There was a non-standard
roundel painted on the fuselage, bigger also in diameter than usually used C1 type. The canopy was changed from another aircraft in natural
metal finish. The aircraft sported the Polish national insignia on both sides of the nose as well as the unit badge under the canopy.
INFO Eduard - May 2021