Here is another well travelled airframe with an interesting history. It's long-term rebuild / restoration will soon be finished and it appears as new. Another beautiful P-51D will take to the air again.

Many thanks to Mike Vadeboncoeur of Midwest Aero Restorations for letting me use these great photographs.

"Daddy's Girl" is painted in the colors of the 359th FG, ETO. The original aircraft to carry this nickname was assigned to Ace Capt. Raymond S. Wetmore. His official score stands at 21.25 kills, making him the top-scorer of the 359th FG which was based at East Wretham, Norfolk, during World War 2. Ray Wetmore died in February 1951, when he crashed with a F-84 jet-fighter during a training-mission.

Great efforts have been made with attention to marking-details, making this restoration a true gem.

Sitting in the sun, ready to take to the air again.

Highly polished finish enhances the P-51D Mustangs beautiful lines.

Detail of wings and fuselage

Wheel wells and gear doors

The long nose and the huge Hamilton Standard propeller

"Daddy's Girl" shares the ramp with "Cripes A'Mighty" (N251KW, 44-74813), another beautifully restored P-51D in the colors of the famous 352nd FG, the "Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney". The original "Cripes A'Mighty" had been Major George E. Preddy's last wartime aircraft. Preddy was the highest ranking Mustang ace in the ETO with 26.83 kills. Sadly, he was killed on Christmas day 1944, when he was shot down by friendly fire over Belgium.

same topic, different view

"Daddy's Girl" shortly after being towed out of the workshops after restoration.

again "Cripes A'Mighty" sitting beside "Daddy's Girl"

Below are two photographs showing this aircraft when it was serving with various air arms:

as FAU-272 with the Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, approx. 1950

and as FAB-506 with the Fuerza Aerea Boliviana; here it is seen shortly after being sold to Canada, still in military camouflage, but civil registration added on the tail (C-GXUO).

44-63807 during its restoration process

Here's a brief history of this airframe with its former identities / owners:

WWII Vet: assigned 8th Army Air Force, ETO
1950: to Uruguayan Air Force as FAU-272
1960: to Bolivian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana) as FAB-506
1977: C-GXUO (Arny Carnegie) Canada
1985: N20MS (Ed Stringfellow)
2001: 9th March 2001 registered to Jon Vesely of Inverness IL
purchased in January 2001
2001/2004: Restoration at Midwest Aero Restoration

©  Martin Kyburz / Swiss Mustangs 2003 - 2008