This Mustang was built at NAA's Inglewood facility in California. She was accepted by the USAAF on December 21st , 1944, as 44-72035.
Her history during WWII is dubious. Some list her as having served with the 385th FS of the 364th FG, whilst others state that she's a 332nd FG veteran.
I cannot find any substantial evidence that she served with the 364th FG.
This leaves the 332nd FG. The airframe was originally marked for service with the 8th AF in the ETO, but this was changed to Project Number 91037R, indicating service in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. She left the North American Aviation plant at Inglewood for Newark, New Jersey, on January 4th , 1945, arriving there on January 10th .
Shipment overseas started on January 24th , with assignment “Oham”, which is the codeword for the 15th AF, based in Italy.
While the 8th AF fielded some 14 Mustang-equipped groups by the end of the war, the 15th only had two Fighter Wings established: the 305th FW which was equipped with P-38s and the 306th FW which were equipped with P-51s.
The 306th FW comprised four Fighter Groups: the 31st FG, the 52nd FG, the 325th FG and the 332nd FG, the latter being the famed all-African American “Tuskegee Airmen” Group.
The 52nd FG and 325th FG both carried yellow as Group colors and the 31st FG and 332nd FG carried red as Group colors.
Now bear in mind that 44-72035 never had an extensive rebuild and is pretty much still the same airframe as it was in 1945. All that can be said is that, upon inspection, the current owner found parts of yellow over-spray, probably dating from her time as N5411V as beneath the yellow spray there are vague rests of red paint around the fillets and tail surfaces. Closer inspection of the paint underneath the spinner revealed more red paint. If these are the remains of her wartime paint scheme, this would limit the search to either the 31st FG or 332nd FG, as the other two had yellow around the tail area.
The amount of red around the tail area points towards the 332nd FG as the 31st FG only carried 4 diagonal red lines on the tail surfaces and the amount of red on the airframe exceeds just 4 lines.
44-72035 probably entered service somewhere around March of 1945, serving out the last few months of the war on escort and ground attack sweeps. If you examine 44-72035 closely, you can still see the battle scars from WWII as she clearly shows some repaired puncture holes just behind the pilot's position on both sides of the fuselage, and puncture repairs to the fin.
Her post WWII history is however fairly well documented. She came back to the US during the fall of 1945, where she is recorded as having returned to the mainland on October 10th , and subsequently put into storage with the 4003rd Base Unit at Newark.
She remained there until being turned over to the 4112th Base Unit (Air Material Command) at Olmstead AFB, Pennsylvania, in January of 1947, in order to be overhauled in preparation for service with the Air National Guard.
Her first ANG assignment came in January of 1948, to the 125th FS, Oklahoma ANG, Tulsa. Her assignment there only lasted 6 months, after which she was transferred to the 192nd FS of the Nevada ANG, based at Reno.
With the change in designation system by the then newly formed US Air Force, she became officially designated as an F-51 (F for Fighter instead of P for Pursuit).
On May 22nd , 1949, she suffered a first mishap when 2nd Lt. Charles C. Meckley encountered a prop strike while landing at Reno in gusty conditions. Fortunately, apart from grinding a quarter inch off each propeller blade, she suffered no further damage.
On December 1950, she was involved in another (this time nearly fatal if it hadn't been for the skill of the pilot) accident. On a gunnery practice mission, the 192nd FS twelve ship formation returned in three flights in a finger four formation. First Lieutenant Henry N. Gallues was flying 44-72035 as No.2 in White Flight, which was to the port side of the leader.
During a crossover manoeuvre Lt. Henry, temporarily blinded by the sun, made contact with Capt. Vernon Holland, when his left wing hit the tail surface of Capt. Vernon Holland. Holland had to bail out and Henry found that his Mustang had just lost about 3 ft. from his port wingtip and that the left aileron was bent upwards through almost 90 degrees. He managed to retain the P-51 under control however and landed safely at Hawthorne. There is still evidence of that collision today, as the positioning lights on the tip are not in the standard position.
With the Korean threat escalating, a great number of ANG units were recalled to active duty. On March 15th , 1951, the 192nd FS of the Nevada ANG was amalgamated with the 110th FS (Missouri ANG) and the 170th FS (Illinois ANG) to form the 131st Fighter Bomber Wing and was deployed to Bergstrom AFB, Texas.
She underwent maintenance there in July of 1951, before returning once again to the 131st in September, which by that time had transferred to George AFB in California.
The unit was turned over to the Tactical Air Command in November of 1951. The words “US Air Force” was applied above the serial number on the fin and the buzz-number FF-035 was applied on the fuselage, below the cockpit. Evidence of these markings can still be found upon close inspection of the P-51 to this date.
In June of 1952, she was transferred to the 132nd Fighter Bomber Wing at Alexandria AFB, Louisiana. This unit was re-designated as the 366th FBW in January of 1953.
She was released from active duty with the USAF on March 12th , 1953, and was once again transferred to the ANG, this time the 190th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the Idaho ANG at Boise. The 190th FIS transferred to the F-86 in November of 1953, so she was transferred again to the 178th FIS of the Dakota ANG, Hector Field, in January of 1954.
When the 178th made the transition to the Lockheed F-94 Starfire, she was transferred one last time in September of 1954, to the 169th Fighter Bomber Squadron of the Illinois ANG, based at Peoria.
Two years later, in October of 1956, her military career was finally over when the ANG retired all F-51s from service. 44-72035 was put into storage at the Sacramento Air Material Area to await disposal. Just under a year later, her fate was rescued as she was sold to Whiteman Enterprises, Pacoima, California for just $1,100. Total recorded flying hours at that time was 1083 hours and 15 minutes.
At that time she got her first civil registration as N5411V on September 25th , 1957. Following demilitarization and the addition of a passenger's seat, she received FAA certification on June 11th , 1958. She remained with Whiteman Enterprises for 24 years and wore an all-yellow color scheme.
She was sold on December 4th , 1981, to Atlas Aircraft Corporation at Long Beach, California, before being acquired by Humberto Escobar Velez of Bogota, Columbia. She departed from Miami on May 1st , destined for Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera at Medellin.
Under the ownership of Velez, she was re-registered HK-2812-X, and repainted in a blue-noser scheme, minus the stars ‘n bars and code letters.
She did not fly extensively during her 6 year stay with Velez (only about 90 hours) and was finally sold and exported to France at the end of 1988. Arriving in France in January of 1989, she was re-registered once more to F-AZMU, under the ownership of Jacques Bouret of Aero Retro, based at St. Rembert D'albon.
It was under his ownership that she got her current paint scheme. Jacques came across a picture of a P-51 named “Jumpin Jacques” and couldn't resist applying that paint scheme to his newly acquired Mustang.
The original Jumpin Jacques was flown by Lt. Jacques E. Young of the 3rd FS, 3rd Air Commando Group, which operated out of the Philippines.
He put the Mustang up for sale in 2002 and British businessman Peter Teichman, who already owned a Beech D-17 Staggerwing, acquired it. As with many fresh P-51 owners, Peter checked out on the P-51 at Stallion 51 in Florida.
On December 18th , 2002, Peter and Lee Proudfoot ferried the Mustang to North Weald. Jumpin Jacques underwent a propeller overhaul at CFS Aeroproducts at Coventry on January 4th , 2003, after which the Mustang was ferried to Duxford on January 18th , so Peter could complete his familiarization.
On February 24th , 2003, Peter flew her to North Weald where the resident maintenance organization, North Weald Flying Services began to work on her initial UK permit to fly as G-SIJJ (resembling 51 and JJ for Jumpin Jacques in capital letters). She got the registration on July 3rd , 2003.
To date, 44-72035 has never had a major rebuild, which makes her about as close to the original airframe as you can get.
|Built at NAA Inglewood
Accepted by the USAAF on December 21st
Shipped to Newark, New Jersey on January 4th
Overseas shipment to Italy on January 24th
Assigned to the 332nd FG, aka the Tuskegee Airmen
Returned to the US on October 10th. Put into storage at Newark
Moved to Olmstead for storage in January
Assigned to the 125th FS, Oklahoma ANG in January
Assigned to the 192nd FS, Nevada ANG in July
Prop strike at Reno on May 22nd, pilot managed to land her safely
Mid-air collision in December, pilot managed to land her safely
Deployed to Bergstrom AFB, Texas, on March 15th
Transferred to George AFB, California in September
Turned over to Tactical Air Command in November
Transferred to 132nd FBW at Alexandria AFB, Louisiana
Released from active duty on March 12th
Transferred to 190th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of Idaho ANG
Transferred to 178th FIS of Dakota ANG in January
To 169th FB Sqn of Illinois ANG in September
Put into storage at Sacramento Air Material Area to await disposal in October
Purchased by Whiteman Enterprises, Pacoima, California for $1,100 on September 25th
FAA certification on June 11th
Sold to Atlas Aircraft Corp., Long Beach, California on December 4th
To Humberto Escobar Velez, Bogota, Colombia on May 1st
Jacques Bouret of Aero Retro, St. Rembert D'albon, France
Repainted as Jumpin Jacques, 3rd FS, 3rd Air Commando Group
Sold to Peter Teichman
Ferried to North Weald on February 24th
The name was given to the aircraft by its pilot Lt. Jacques E. Young. One assumes that the name was given in reference to the pilot.
The original Jumpin Jacques was flown by Lt. Jacques E. Young of the 3rd FS, 3rd Air Commando Group, which operated out of the Philippines with a variety of aircraft types. They were involved in supporting ground forces on Luzon, as well as providing escort for missions to Formosa and the Chinese coast. The unit was later stationed at Chitos and in September of 1945 was based on the Japanese mainland at Le Shima and Atsugi.
Further history of Lt. Jacques Young is unclear, as is the number of kills of the aircraft.
The paint scheme
The Air Commandos were formed in 1943 and consisted of three Groups: the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Commando Group. The 1st and 2nd Air Commando Groups were part of the 10th Air Force, whilst the 3rd Air Commando Group was part of the 5th AF.
The 3rd Air Commando Group was formed at Drew Field, Lakeland, Florida, on May 1st , 1944, under Colonel Arvid Olson. They trained to establish and maintain an airstrip behind enemy lines, to provide for its own supply and air defense, to attack targets in the enemy's rear areas, and to furnish air support for ground operations
The group's headquarters, liaison, and airdrome squadrons, as well as its medical dispensary and the ground echelons of the 3rd Fighter Squadron and 318th Troop Carrier Squadron sailed from the west coast in early November of 1944, arriving on Leyte on December 1st, 1944. The ground echelon of the 4th Fighter Squadron sailed a week later and arrived on Leyte in early January of 1945. The flying personnel of the 3rd and 4th Fighter Squadrons, as well as some enlisted members of their engineering sections, were air-transported to Nadzab , New Guinea , where they received the group's new P-51 aircraft.
The separated squadrons flew patrol missions in New Guinea until joining the group on Leyte in January, 1945. Began combat in the Philippines by flying bombing and strafing missions against airdromes on Mindanao . Later, on Luzon , the fighters continued bombing and strafing missions. In addition, the group provided air support to ground forces, flew fighter sweeps to Formosa , and escorted heavy bombers on bombing missions to Formosa and the China coast. The air echelon of the 318th Troop Carrier Squadron flew their C-47s across the Pacific, arriving at Nadzab, New Guinea, in late October, 1944. The squadron carried cargo and passengers and air-evacuated wounded soldiers to Australia until it moved to Leyte in mid-January of 1945. While on Luzon, this squadron also para-dropped supplies to ground forces. The liaison squadrons received their L-5s in late January of 1945, and thereafter evacuated wounded from advanced points, flew courier, search and rescue, and reconnaissance missions, spotted for signal aircraft warning battalions, and dropped supplies to allied and guerrilla forces.
In April of 1945, the Group, less the liaison squadrons, moved from Mandaldan, on the Lingayen Gulf , to Laoag, in northwest Luzon, in recently captured territory 150 miles behind enemy lines. The group operated the base and the 318th Troop Carrier Squadron provided most of the resupply. The group set up air-ground support stations that directed aircraft to targets and tactical radio ground stations situated with U.S. and guerrilla ground forces. In June of 1945 Laoag became the staging field for flights to Okinawa .
In August 1945, the group moved to Ie Shima , in the Ryukyus , from where the fighter squadrons flew surveillance missions over Japan . The 318 TCS participated in the evacuation of allied prisoners of war from Japan. By the end of October, 1945, the group moved to Chitose AB, Japan. By February of 1946 the squadrons were reduced to paper strength and the group inactivated the next month.
The 3rd Air Commando Group operated P-51 Mustangs, C-47 Skytrains and L-5 Sentinels and consisted of:
- 3rd FS
- 4th FS
- 157th Liaison Sqn
- 159th Liaison Sqn
- 160th Liaison Sqn
- 318th Troop Carrier Sqn
- 334th Airdrome Sqn
- 335th Airdrome Sqn
- 341st Airdrome Sqn
- 343rd Airdrome Sqn
- 23rd Medical Detachment
They took part in the following campaigns: China Defensive, China Offensive, Air Offensive, Japan, Western Pacific, Leyte, Luzon,
As mentioned above, the Air Commando Units consisted out of three Groups.
The 1st ACG originally started out with P-51As in an overall Olive Drab and Neutral Grey color scheme. Unit markings were five white diagonal stripes running down from aft of the cockpit area towards the bottom of the airframe.
Two horizontal white bands were applied to the top of the tail fin. The outer edges of the wings also had white bands. The spinner was white, with a small black band nearest the engine. The individual aircraft numbers on top of the tailfin were often partly painted over the yellow serial numbers.
1st Air Commando Group markings
Often found on CBI theatre Mustangs was the direction-finding loop antenna on top of the rear fuselage.
With the transition to D-model Mustangs and their natural metal look, the Unit markings also changed from white to black. The top of the spinner remained white with a black band to the rear. The five diagonal bands were also retained, but were now painted in black instead of white. The width of these five bands was as good as equal to the width of the National Insignia.
1st Air Commando Group markings P-51D
The biggest change was made to the tail area, as this was now a black checkerboard pattern which also ran diagonally across the tail, starting at the beginning of the tail fin. The same checkerboard pattern was also applied to the wingtips. The identification numbers were painted in black just below the cockpit. The anti-glare panel was painted in Olive Drab.
The 2nd ACG had their D-model Mustangs painted in natural metal with black markings and an olive drab anti-glare panel.
Standard recognition bands appear on the vertical tail and around the wings. The spinner was all black. The unit markings consist of the '!' which interrupts the fin band and the lightning flashes. The latter are also on both top and bottom of the wings, each side of the recognition band, the lightning flashes being angled with the points meeting each side of the band at the leading edge. The national insignia, of course, is over the top of the outer lightning under the right wing and on top of the left.
The rear cockpit canopy frame is also black as is the individual aircraft number on the nose.
The 3rd ACG consisted out of 2 Fighter Groups, the 3rd FG and the 4th FG. Both Groups carried the PTO markings which resemble D-Day stripes, but are not exactly the same. The PTO bands are wider and consist of a black, white and black band running around the rear fuselage and both wings. The white band was as wide as the blue roundel containing the white start of the National Insignia. Both outer black bands started at the edge of the blue roundel of the National Insignia and ended past the bars part of the National Insignia. With the 3rd FS, the first black bar stopped at the edge of the canopy, whereas with the 4th FS, this black bar was continued around the edge of the canopy.
Bad Angel, 3rd Air Commando Group, 4th Fighter Squadron
Jumpin Jacques, 3rd Air Commando Group, 3rd Fighter Squadron
The Group marking was blue on top of the vertical tailfin, starting out at the top of the fillet all the way to the top of the tail. The 3rd FS carried the letter O, painted in yellow, with a horizontal stripe through the middle of the letter. The 4th FG carried the letter C.
The aircraft serial number was right below the blue colored top of the tail and was painted in black.
The front part of the spinner for the 4th FS was painted in the same yellow color as the letter on the tail. The spinner of the 3rd FS was painted in the same blue color as the tail and continued to the front part of the engine compartment where it came together with a pointy end just in front of and beneath the exhaust stacks.
The 4th FS also had the wing tips painted blue as well as a small band at the bottom part of the cockpit canopy.
Mission markings were carried in a black square box on the port side of the fuselage beneath the front cockpit window.
Pictures of G-SIJJ Jumpin Jacques
Walkaround pictures of G-SIJJ Jumpin Jacques
Contributor pictures of G-SIJJ Jumpin Jacques
Contributor image copyright (left to right, top to bottom):
Pictures of the original "Jumpin Jacques"
Above images are copyright and courtesy of Jeffrey L. Ethel Collection, ww2color.com, a great site for original WW2 color photographs. Have a look at their great site here!
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