Armour Collection B11F047 USAAF North American P-51A Mustang Fighter - Colonel Philip "Flip" Cochran, 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)
"The Air Commando concept was to have a self sufficient, self-contained force that could deploy anywhere in the world and conduct operations."
- Retired Brig. Gen. Harry C. "Heinie" Aderholt, a commander of Air Commandos in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War
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 1:48 scale replica of a USAAF North American P-51A Mustang fighter that was piloted by Colonel Philip "Flip" Cochran, then assigned to the 1st Air Commando Group, operating out of Burma during 1944. Sold Out!
Release Date: February 2009
Historical Account: "Burmese Pythons" - The 1st Air Commando Group was a U.S. Army Air Force group of fighters, bombers, transports, military gliders and small planes operating in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II. They were part of the U.S. Tenth Air Force providing air support for the British Fourteenth Army in the Burma Campaign.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, amidst the Quebec Conference in August 1943, was impressed by Brigadier Orde Wingate's account of what could be accomplished in Burma with proper air support. To comply with Roosevelt's proposed air support for British long range penetration operations in Burma, the United States Army Air Forces created the 5318th Air Unit to support the Chindits. In March 1944, they were designated the 1st Air Commando Group by USAF Commander General Hap Arnold. Arnold chose Colonel John R. Alison and Colonel Philip Cochran as co-commanders of the unit.
Alison was a veteran flight instructor of P-40 aircraft, and gained renown as a pilot with Major David Lee "Tex" Hill's 75th Fighter Squadron, part of Col Robert Lee Scott, Jr.'s 23rd Fighter Group, the USAF successor of the AVG's famed Flying Tigers in the China-Burma-India Theatre. General Claire Lee Chennault lobbied to Arnold, who knew Alison from service at Langley Field, suggesting Alison be given the new command. Cochran was a decorated P-40 veteran pilot from the North Africa Campaign, noted for his unconventional aeriel tactics.
The group consisted of 13 C-47 air transports, 225 Waco CG-4A military gliders, a squadron of 30 P-51 Mustangs, a squadron of 12 B-25H bombers and 100 L-1 and L-5 Sentinel liaison aircraft. The group tested the United States' first use of a helicopter in combat, six Sikorsky R-4s, in May 1944.