Armour Collection B11E329 RAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Wing Commander Louis Thomas Spence, 77 Squadron, Korea, 1950 (1:48 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters. The powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine gave the Mustang a speed of 445 mph. Re-styled with an aerodynamic bubble canopy for greater visibility, and outfitted with 6 fast-firing .50 caliber machine guns, the P-51 became the best fighter of the war.
Pictured here is a limited edition 1:48 scale replica of a RAAF P-51D Mustang that was flown by the Royal Australian Air Force and piloted by Wing Commander Louis Thomas Spence of 77 Squadron during the Korean Conflict.
Historical Account: "Fallen Ally" - Wing Commander L.T. Spence, the CO of 77 Squadron during the Korean Conflict, was awarded the American Legion of Merit on August 22nd, 1950, for outstanding leadership, devotion to duty and great personal courage. The decoration was the first to be awarded to a member of the Squadron in the Korean conflict.
September 1950 began tragically when, on the third, Pilot Officer W.P. Harrop (A68-753) crashed five miles from Taegu. Harrop had been part of a four aircraft formation providing cover for B-29 bombers of the USAF, attacking the North Korean coastal town of Pyongyang.
Worse was yet to come when on September 9th, four Mustangs led by Wing Commander Lou Spence attacked the town of Angang-Ni with rockets and machine guns. The weather was poor, with low clouds creating poor visibility and hazardous flying conditions. The CO in A68-809 was seen to commence a steep attacking dive from 700ft on to the target when he was apparently struck by ground fire and crashed into the ground, being killed instantly. Lou Spence was posthumously awarded the American Air Force Medal.