PH-PSI - Damn Yankee
356th Fighter Group
359th Fighter Squadron
Tom van de Meulen
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P-51D-30-NA 44-74425 was delivered by NAA to the USAAF in 1945 where she served briefly with the 356th FG. As was the case with many Mustangs, she served with a foreign Air Force after WWII, in this case with the Royal Canadian Air Force (registration 9591).
This Mustang entered civil ownership in 1957 when it was acquired by James H. Defuria of Intercontinental Airways on February 25th . On October 20th , 1959, she was sold to Madison Aviation Corporation at Canastota, New York.
During the following years she passed through several civil owners until she crash-landed a first time in October of 1972.
In 1973, the P-51 was acquired by John Herlihy who raced it at Reno as number 8. On November 10th , tragedy struck again when she was damaged in a taxiing incident at Half Moon Bay, California.
After repairs she went on to Johnny Bolton Ford Inc. on September 3rd , 1974. After some more private owners, she suffered another accident under the ownership of Gordon W. Plaskett when she made a forced landing at Piedmont, Oklahoma on October 23rd , 1976. The main gear collapsed during a landing on a dirt strip.
After several more civil owners the finally made the trip across the Ocean to the Stichting Dutch Mustang Flight at Lelystad, Netherlands. She was painted in the colors of 474425/OC-G/Damn Yankee, which is a fictional name.
She is now owned by Tom van de Meulen and is currently registered PH-PSI.
Delivered to USAAF, served briefly with 356th FG
Royal Canadian Air Force on November 8th , struck off charge on April 29th, 1958
To James H. Defuria of Intercontinental Airways, Canastota, New York, on February 25th
Madison Aviation Corp., Canastota, New York on October 20th
Transferred to Naylor Aviation Inc. at Clinton, Maryland, late October
Acquired by Frank J. Capone of Bonanza Inc., Broomall, Pennsylvania on January 3rd
Eli Graubart Aviation, Valparaiso, Indiana on June 25th
Joseph W. Bohmeir, New London Airport, New London, Pennsylvania on July 27th
James Fugate, Oswego, Oregon on September 30th
R.A. Hanson Co., Palouse, Washington on December 8th
Charles P. Harral of Superstition Air Service, Mesa-Falcon Field, Arizona on January 6th
To Larry N. Mitchell, Hopkinsville, Kentucky in October
Bought by Harold F. Beal, Concord, Tennessee on June 18th . The registration N51HB was reserved, but was never finalized.
Jack W. Flaherty of Flaherty Factors Inc, Monterey, California on September 1st
Harold F. Beal, Concord, Tennessee. It was damaged during landing at Knoxville in October
In the hands of John Herlihy, Half Moon Bay, California who raced it at Reno as #8 until she was damaged in a taxiing accident with a Cessna on November 10th , 1973
Johnny Bolton Ford Inc., Maitland, Florida on September 3rd
To Pete Sherman Exotic Cars, Maitland, Florida on March 2nd
To Ben R. Bradley, Oakland Park, Florida on January 11th
Sold on to Gordon W. Plaskett, King City, California. She was damaged once more during a forced landing at Piedmont, Oklahoma on October 23rd (the main landing gear collapsed during landing on a dirt strip)
Bob Amyx, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Robert Byrne, Bloomfield, Michigan
WWII Enterprises Inc, Scotch Plains, New Jersey
John Goltra, Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Bill Woods of Western Wings Aircraft Sales Co, Oakland, Oregon
Robert J. Pond of Planes Of Fame East, Plymouth, Minnesota
Bill Klaers of Klaers Aviation, Rialto, California
Western Aviation Maintenance Inc , Mesa, Arizona in April
Shipped to the Netherlands in April of 1994
Operated by Stichting Dutch Mustang Flight at Lelystad, Netherlands, painted as 474425/OC-G/Damn Yankee.
Registered as PH-PSI in April
… is completely fictional. There was no such P-51 within the 356th FG by the name “Damn Yankee” or even with that serial number.
… is unknown because of the fictional paint scheme.
The paint scheme
The 356th FG was assigned to the 8th AF on August 25th , 1943 and started out with P-47s in September of that year. At that time, their squadron codes were also assigned by SHAEF. Their Thunderbolts were painted in the Olive Drab camouflage colours, even when the first metal finished P-47s began to arrive to the group in April of 1944 (the underside would remain in an unpainted state and the upper surfaces received an Olive Drab paint).
In March of 1944, the 356th FG took a rather unique approach in meeting with the unit recognition criteria, they opted to comply with a complete absence of colour.
The cowling UK QIMs were eliminated and in some instances the entire cowling area were over painted in the camouflage colour.
Upon D-Day, the 356th FG received their Invasion Stripes, as did every other operational aircraft. As a general rule, a method of “block-masking” was used. This method was more rapidly applied than over-painting the fuselage codes again once the Invasion Stripes were applied, but the end result is obviously rather awkward.
In some cases, the block-masking technique was not used and the code letters were simply over-painted and in other cases a thin black contour outline was given to the code letters in order to differentiate them from the white stripes.
The 356th FG was the second to last Fighter Group to convert to the P-51 Mustang (the 78th FG being the last) in late October and starting flying them in combat in early November of 1944.
As mentioned earlier, the 356th FG distinguished themselves by applying no unit markings to their aircraft. This was however already the trademark of the 479th FG which were already operating the Mustang, so a new device had to be thought of for the 356th FG.
A high profile colour marking was chosen with a vengeance to the other units. They chose a combination of blue and red.
The spinners received an alternating encircling pattern of those two colours, six 2-inches wide bands of red and blue, the tip being red. The rear portion of the spinner, 9-inches wide, was applied in a solid Medium Blue colour.
The cowling band backing the spinner was extended up and back just under the exhaust manifold, and then up and back to the cockpit, the anti-glare panel being incorporated in this red cover.
This was not the end of it as, superimposed on the red base were longitudinal rows of blue diamonds (same shade of blue as used on the spinner), approximately 8-inches long by 4-inches high. The exact number and placement of the diamond pattern varied from one aircraft to another.
Mostly there was a single chain of diamonds encircling the cowling directly aft of the spinner and five rows of diamonds over the tip of the cowling from above one manifold to the other.
The contrast between the unit colours of their P-47s and P-51s couldn't have been any bigger.
In October of 1944, the 8th AF issued an order for additional squadron identification by means of coloured rudders. By early January, the 356th FG had also complied with this order. The 359th FS (unit code “OC”) painted their rudders yellow, the 360th FS (unit code “PI”) used red and the 361st FS (unit code “QI”) applied a blue colour to their rudders.
Initially, the black QIM tail markings ware masked out with the application of the rudder colours, but this was short-lived and the QIMs were soon hereafter simply over-painted. Eventually this issue was solved when the use of QIMs were unilaterally discontinued altogether.
The 359th FS and 361st FS repainted their aircraft call numbers in black, while the 360th FS initially block-masked these numbers prior to painting the rudders. This practice was also short-lived as the 360th FS soon adopted the same practice as its sister Squadrons and reinstated the numbers in black.
By the end of January, 1945, all 356th FG Mustangs began adopting the practice of painting the canopy frames in their respective Squadron colours. By the beginning of February, the spinners followed suit and were also painted in their respective Squadron colours. A major factor in painted the spinners in their proper Squadron colours was that it was much easier and quicker to apply than the alternating red and blue bands.
PH-PSI displays 3 (fictional) kill markings on the port side, respresented by German battle flags. The time-frame of its paint scheme can be placed somewhere between February of 1945 (when the 356th FG began painting the spinners in Squadron colours) and November 10th of 1945 (group inactivated).
As mentioned before, the name and serial number are completely fictional, the real P-51 OC-G was that of Lt.Col. Donald A Baccus, P-51D 44-14993 "The Bloody Shaft".
For more information on the following general P-51 markings, please click their appropriate links:
US National Insignia markings
General P-51 markings
Pictures of PH-PSI Damn Yankee
Walkaround pictures of PH-PSI Damn Yankee
Contributor pictures of PH-PSI Damn Yankee
Left to right, top to bottom:
- © Richard Werno - Taken at
Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International in May of 1979, wearing registration NL11T
- © Tom Houquet - Taken at Volkel on June 19th, 2004. At this time she was allready operated by Stichting Dutch Mustang Flight at Lelystad, Netherlands, but still wore its US registration. The registration change to PH-PSI occured in 2005.
- © Willem Honders - Taken at Lelystad on September 4th, 2004
- © Willem Honders - Taken at Lelystad on September 9th, 2004
- © Mike De Bruijn - Taken at
July 18th, 2005, now wearing its Dutch registration
- © Geoff Collins - Taken at Duxford
- © Skyspotter - Taken at Lelystad on June 27th, 2006
- © Sebastian Hecker - Taken at
Soest/Bad Sassendorf, Germany, on August 13th, 2006
- © Sebastian Hecker - Taken at Soest/Bad Sassendorf, Germany, on August 13th, 2006
- © Sebastian Hecker - Taken at Soest/Bad Sassendorf, Germany, on August 13th, 2006
- © Peter Bakema - Taken at Oostwold on May 26th, 2007
- © Flyer2001 - Taken at Duxford
- © Maurice Kockro - Taken at Leeuwarden on June 21st, 2008
Pictures of the original "OC-G"
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