Gathering of Mustangs 2007
Crazy Horse Aviation Photography

Gathering of Mustangs & Legends (September 27th - 30th, 2007)

American Beauty, Betty Jane, Cripes A. Mighty, Gentleman Jim, Ina the Macon Belle ... names that once were a big part of our history, names of a once dominant fighter that had a significant part in the outcome of the Second World War. They are names that grace the sides of a P-51 Mustang.

1999 hosted a coming together of what was then named as a truly unique event in airshow history: 65 mustangs and 12 legends who flew them during the war met in Kissimmee, Florida for a once in a lifetime event. Or so it would seem...

When the world needed a hero, the P-51 Mustang was born, designed and built in less then 120 days. Marking the Mustang’s 65th year in combat history, there are now only approximately 1 percent of the original 15,868 Mustangs built flying today. And between the 27th and 30th of September 2007, at Rickenbacker International Airport, the legend was honored one last time for the 2007 Gathering of Mustangs and Legends: The Final Roundup.

This event was all about this magnificent piece of engineering, but most of all it's about reuniting them with the men and women who serviced and flew them during those dark days of WWII; to honor and thank them for what they did for the world and to hear them tell their stories. In addition to the celebration of the Mustang and Legends, this event also was a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the USAF.

The original plans were to get 100 mustangs and 51 legends together. Bad weather on Thursday prevented this from happening, but still an amazing 76 mustangs and 49 legends made it to the event. Among some of the invitees were several Air Force aircraft from past and present: the USAF Thunderbirds, F-15 West Coast Demo Team, F-16 East Coast Demo Team, F-22 Raptor Demo Team, B-17's, B-25's, P-38's, P-40's and one of only 2 fly worthy Lancasters.

Civilian performers invited to the event included Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve solo displays by John Klatt and Ed Hamill, Patty Wagstaff in her Extra 300 and John Mohr in a vintage Stearman.


The event was hosted and organized by the Stallion 51 Corporation, which specializes in P-51 Mustang training. Lee Lauderback is probably the world's most experienced Mustang pilot today, accumulating over 22,000 flight hours in all types of aircraft including well over 9,500 hours in the Mustang. Along with his wife Angela West, the two of them hosted the event at Rickenbacker Airport, Columbus, Ohio.


Rickenbacker was once home to the 447th Composite Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

Rickenbacker Int. airport, Columbus, Ohio

Weather looked grimm at first, with a huge thunderstorm preventing a lot of participants from getting to the airport. Amazingly, the remainder of the week provided lots of sun and clear flying weather. The participant which were unable to reach the airport on Thursday would do so on Friday.


The gates opened at 8am and things got under way at 9.30am. With this being a unique event, crowds were amassed throughout the weekend: if you weren't there at about 6.30am you would have to deal with a large queue to get in. No problems here though, tickets bought in advance and well in time to be one of the first to gain entrance to the show grounds, my plan was to be in one of the grandstands on Friday, to roam around the show grounds on Saturday and an unforgettable experience to be able to be amongst the legends in the Legends Club on Sunday. The moment you gained access you were able to walk through the "Mustang Row": all Mustangs were parked at the ramp where you could get a very close-up look (and feel because there were no barriers around them :D) of those beautiful Mustangs. You could see everyone’s eyes lighting up and everybody had a big smile on their faces. I felt like a kid in a candy store...

Shooting into the sun during the displays for most of the day proved a little challenging, but being at the event of the year this was only a minor disappointment. At 9.30am the opening ceremony got under way with one of the biggest US flags in the world being flown in under the feet of a parachutist with the "Star Spangled Banner" playing and a first salute with a pass of 4 P-51's in diamond formation.

After that things got slowly under way with most of the civilian performance showing their acts first.

John Mohr displaying the Boeing Stearman

The one that amazed us the most was John Mohr's display in the vintage Boeing Stearman: you've truly never seen a Stearman being flown like that before. It was one of the best displays of the day.


After that, Lee Lauderback took to the skies flying his P-51 "Crazy Horse". With the music of Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" playing in the background, Lee gave away a breathtaking display, showing the Mustang to the vast crowd. Lee's solo display was followed by a Horsemen routine: 2 P-51's doing their display in close formation: what a sight!

Lee Lauderback flying in TF-51 Mustang "Crazy Horse²"

Around noon, the airspace was given to the modern day fighter planes: first up the F-16 solo display followed by that of the F-15. After each display followed a heritage flight with what else, one of more P-51's. After the F-15 it was time for the USAF latest breed of fighter and a first for us: the F-22 Raptor. If you had to think of one word to describe this fighter best it would be simple "WOW"! The Raptor put on a truly awesome and formidable display after which it was joined by no less then 3 P-51's for another Heritage Flight.

Raptor and Mustangs heritage flight

The only multiple jet display team present were the USAF Thunderbirds who gave away another great display of close formation flying.

The afternoon was an absolute delight with pyrotechnic displays of 2 B-25 bombers, a B-17, the Canadian Lancaster, a P-63 Aircobra, a P-40, 2 P-47s and several Mustangs. Furthermore there was a tribute to the WASPS (Women Air Force Service Pilots) and a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, but the highlight of the show was the mass formation of 20 Mustangs in the air, in the shape of a big number 51! There is nothing like the sound of 20 Merlins passing over your head...

The show ended with a missing man formation of P-51's which brought tears to many eyes.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this unique event possible: Lee and Angela from Stallion 51, the hundreds of volunteers at the show, and especially the legends. Being able to shake the hands of men such as Clarence "Bud" Anderson, Clyde East, "Punchy" Powell, Alan Rigby, the Patillo brothers and many more, and getting them to sign our copy of the event book was beyond our wildest dreams. A very big "Thank You" to them and to every man and woman who served, flew or gave their life during the Second World War.

The 2007 Gathering of Mustangs and Legends was personally the best event we ever attended and looking back we arehonored to be able to say we were there... Mustangs Forever!


Below the image gallery you'll find a list of every P-51 Mustang in attendence at the event, as well as all of the legends who were there. Please note that the Mustang list is the status the Mustangs had at the time of the event. Sadly, to date, some of the P-51s and some of the legends are no longer with us...


The Mustangs in attendence at the even were:

Ain't Misbehavin'

N51KB

P-51D-25NA

Jim Thompson, Wes Stowers, William Strickland & Dr. Evan Zeiger

American Beauty  

N151MC

P-51D Cavalier

John O'Connor

Barbara Jean 

N10607

P-51D-30NA

Harry Barr

Betty Jane

N251MX

TF-51C-10NT

Max C. Chapman, Jr.

Big Beautiful Doll

N351BD

P-51D-20NA

Mike Henningsen

Boomer

N94384

P-51D-30NA

Tim McPherson

Cavalier

N51DL

P-51D-5NA

Edward & David B. Lindsay

Checkertail Clan

N1451D

P-51D-30NA

Nathan Davis

Cincinnati Miss

N83KD

P-51D-25NT

David O'Maley

City of Winnepeg Sqdn.

N63476

P-51D-20NA

Bob May

Cloud Dancer

N55JL

P-51D-25NT

Jimmy Leeward

Crazy Horse

N851D

TF-51D-25NT

Lee Lauderback

Crazy Horse²

N351DT

TF-51D-30NA

Lee Lauderback

Cripes A' Mighty 3rd

N921

P-51D-30NT

Kermit Weeks

Cripes A' Mighty

N151BW

P-51D-30NA

Bill Wiemann

Dakota Kid II

N151HR

P-51D-30NA

Hank Reichert

DF-X

N20TF

TF-51D Cavalier Mk II

Dan Friedkin

Diamonback

N51ZM

TF-51D-30NT

Mark Peterson

Double Trouble Two

N7TF

P-51D-20NA

Tom Friedkin

Double Trouble Two

N51EA

P-51D-20NA

Jerry Yagen

Dusty's Dolly

N201F

P-51D-25NT

Doug Matthews

Excalibur

N151W

P-51D-30NT

Jim Read

February

N351MX

P-51D-30NA

Chris Woods

FF-704

N6168C

P-51D-25NA

Lewis Shaw

Flying Dutchman

N51AB

P-51D/CA-18 Mk

Stephen Craig

Gentleman Jim

N551J

P-51D-30NA

Jack Roush

Geraldine

N5500S

P-51D-30NA

Chuck & Bev Greenhill

Glamorous Gal

N751RB

P-51D-30NA

Bob & Chris Baranskas

Glamorous Glen III

N3333E

P-51D-20NA

Mark Huffstutler

Gunfighter

N5428V

P-51D-25NA

Commemorative Air Force

Hell-er Bust

N7551T

P-51D-20NA

John Sessions

Hi-G

N6306T

P-51D-30NA

Tom Wood

Hurry Home Honey

N3751D

P-51D-25NA

Dr. Joe Richardson

Ina the Macon Belle

N1204

P-51C-10NT

Kermit Weeks

La Pistolera

N50FS

TF-51/CA Mk.22

Rod Lewis

Lady B

N151FT

P-51D-30NA

Fred Tellings

Lady Jo

N327DB

TF-51D-25NT

Daryl Bond

Lil' Margaret

N51BS

F-6D-25NT

Butch Schroeder

Little Horse

N51PE

P-51D-30NT

Paul Ehlen

Little Witch

N6320T

TF-51D-30NA

Bob Jepson

Luscious Lisa

N51MC

P-51D-30NT

Todd Stuart

Mad Max

N51MX

TF-51D-30NT

Max C. Chapman Jr.

The Millie G

N551W

P-51D-10NA

Trent Latshaw

The Miracle Maker

CF-IKE

P-51D-25NA

Ike Enns

Miss Marilyn II

N41749

P-51D-20NA

Christopher & Kit Goldsbury

Moonbeam McSwine

N2151D

P-51D-25NA

Vlado Lenoch

Obsession

N651JM

P-51D-30NA

Jeffrey Michael

Old Crow

N6341T

P-51D-30NA

Jim Hagedorn

Ole Yeller

N51RH

P-51D-30NA

John Bagley

Petie 2nd

N314BG

P-51D-25NA

Les Heikkila

Petie 2nd

N5427V

P-51D-25NA

Tony Buechler

Petie 3rd

N51PT

P-51D-20NA

Jeff Pryor

Polar Bear

N51Z

P-51A-1NA

Jerry Gabe

Precious Metal

N6WJ

P-51D-25NA

Ron Buccarelli

Princess Elizabeth

N487FS

P-51C-10NT

Jim Beasley

Quick Silver

N51HY

P-51D-30NT

Rancho Linda Vista, LLC.

Red Dog XII

N334FS

P-51D-25NA

Duane Doyle

Ridge Runner III

N151DM

P-51D-20NA

Dan Martin

Scat VII

N93TF

TF-51D-25NA

Flight Management LLC.

Section Eight

N2869D

P-51D-25NT

Doug Driscoll

Shangrila

N51VF

P-51D-30NT

Charles Osborn

Shangrila

XB-HVL

P-51D-25NA

Humberto Lobo de La Garza

Sizzlin' Liz

N351DM

P-51D-30NA

Dave Marco

Slender, Tender & Tall

N51DT

Ca-18 Mk. 23

Tom Blair

Sparky

N151D

P-51D-25NA

Steve Seghetti

Speedball Alice

N64824

P-51D-30NA

Dan Vance

Sweet and Lovely

N451D

P-51D-25NA

Bob Baker

Sweet Revenge

N68JR

P-51D-20NA

Ron & Diane Fagen

Sweetie Face

N151TP

P-51D-25NA

Tom Patten

Twilight Tear

G-CBNM

P-51D-20NA

Patina, Ltd.

Voodoo

N551VC

P-51D-25NA

Bob Button

Wee Willy II

N7715C

P-51D-25NT

Steve Hinton

Worry Bird

N951M

P-51D-25NA

Mike George

NACA 121

N51YZ

P-51D-25NT

Bill Allmon

44-63889

N4034S

P-51D-20NA

John Anderson

44-73420

N7722C

P-51D-25NA

Jack Croul

The following legends who flew the P-51 Mustangs were also present at the event:

Amos, Dudley

55th Fighter Group

Anderson, Clarence E. "Bud"

357th Fighter Group

Archer, Lee

332nd Fighter Group

Bankey, Ernest E.

364th Fighter Group

Blake, Betty

WASP

Brooks, James

31st Fighter Group

Brown, Roscoe

332nd Fighter Group

Bullock, Frederick "Ted"

52nd Fighter Group

Creech, Bill

311th Fighter Group

Dahlberg, Ken

354th Fighter Group

Davis, Barrie

325th Fighter Group

East, Clyde B.

10th Photo Reconnaissance Group

Eddy, Vivian

WASP

Fehsenfeld, Fred

354th Fighter Group

Fiedler, Arthur

325th Fighter Group

Foard, William

357th Fighter Group

Frisch, Robert J.

339th Fighter Group

Getz, Bill

2nd Scouting Force

Green, Robert

78th Fighter Group

Gross, Clayton Kelly

354th Fighter Group

Gruenhagen, Robert W.

Montana Air National Guard

Herbert, James

20th Fighter Group

Hewitt, Richard "Dick"

78th Fighter Group

Hoover, Robert A. "Bob"

52nd Fighter Group

Jeffrey, Arthur

479th Fighter Group

John, Leedom "Kirk"

55th Fighter Group

Kerns, Leo Howard

20th Fighter Group

Kirla, John

357th Fighter Group

Lacy, Andrew

4th Fighter Group

Lopez, Don

23rd Fighter Group

McCormick, Paul

North American Aviation

McGee, Charles

332nd Fighter Group

Olmstead, Merle C.

357th Fighter Group

Overstreet, Bill

357th Fighter Group

Pattillo, Charles "Buck"

352nd Fighter Group

Pattillo, C.A. "Bill"

352nd Fighter Group

Perry, William

339th Fighter Group

Peterburs, Joe

20th Fighter Group

Peterson, Pete

78th Fighter Group

Powell, Robert "Punchy"

352nd Fighter Group

Rigby, Alden

352nd Fighter Group

Snow, Hank

528th Fighter Squadron

Speer, Frank E.

4th Fighter Group

Stewart, Harry, Jr.

332nd Fighter Group

Strait, Donald J.

356th Fighter Group

Urschler, Reg

Tuskegee Airmen Honorary member

Wakehouse Ernie

123rd Fighter Squadron (Korea)

Wilson, Charles E.

52nd Fighter Group

Zianni, Jack

479th Fighter Group

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