GMP GMP51006 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang - Captain John Brooke England, "Missouri Armada", 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, ETO, 1944 (1:35 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 1:35 scale diecast replica of a US North American P-51D Mustang fighter, nicknamed "Missouri Armada", which was flown by John Brooke England. Features fully functional landing gear, flaps, rudder, ailerons, radiator exhaust and bypass doors. Canopy slides back and forth. Includes opening wing gun access doors, removable engine cowling to expose highly detailed Merlin V12 Engine, and external drop tanks or 500 lb. bombs. Bonus 96 pg. book included with purchase -- "Mustang Aces of the Ninth & Fifteenth Air Forces & the RAF" by Jerry Scutts. This book features numerous stories on the men and their mustangs during the war with rare photos.
Wingspan: 11 inches
Length: 12.5 inches
Historical Account: John Brooke England was born in 1923 at Caruthersville, Missouri. His service number was O-739263 and he joined the 362nd FS of the 357th FG in April 1943 as a 1/Lt meaning that he was part of the original cadre that left the ZI in November 1943 for the UK. He was promoted to Captain and then to Major. He took command of the 362nd FS on 25 August 1944. He served two tours with the 357th FG for a total of 108 operational missions giving a total of 460 hours combat flying time. He was the second highest scorer in the 357th with a total of 17.5 victories. England finished his second tour and rotated home on 26 January 1945. He remained in the service after the war and was killed in an F-86 crash in November 1954 in France. Alexandria Air Force base in Louisiana was renamed England Air Force Base in his honor.