Corgi US37108 USAAF North American P-51B-5 Mustang Fighter - Ray Wetmore, "Daddy's Girl", 370th Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group, France, June 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"Okay, let's go."
- Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day, June 5th, 1944
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 1:72 scale replica of a USAAF North American P-51B-5 Mustang fighter that was piloted by Ray Wetmore, and nicknamed "Daddy's Girl", which was attached to the 370th Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group, then deployed to France, during June 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 6.25 inches
Length: 5.25 inches
Release Date: September 2009
Historical Account: "Daddy's Girl" - Ray S. Wetmore was a leading U.S. Army ace of World War II.
Born in Kerman, California, Wetmore enlisted in the Army in November 1941 at age 18 and entered pilot training eight months later. Upon commissioning in March 1943 he joined the new 359th Fighter Group which was sent to England in October that year. Flying with the 370th Fighter Squadron, in February and March 1944 Wetmore scored his first 4.25 victories flying the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Upon conversion to P-51 Mustangs the group ranged farther afield and Wetmore became a 20-year-old ace with a double victory on May 19, downing two Me-109s. At month's end his tally was 8.25. At year's end he was a captain with nearly 15 kills, flying a Mustang named Daddy's Girl.
During World War II, Wetmore had a funny story during the Battle of the Bulge. Wetmore and his wingman, Lieutenant John F. McAlevey, were sent to the Battle of the Bulge. American gunners on the ground were told to shoot at anything they heard. The problem was, it was extremely cloudy, so American gunners shot at their own planes as well as German planes. As Wetmore wasflying, a piece of flack hit his wing and burst open his wheel. His wing lit on fire, but Wetmore didn't notice. His wingman, McAlevey, shouted "You're hit, Wetmore!". Wetmore did a complete nosedive and extinguished the fire. McAlevey, who had also been hit, landed his plane in France, where he would return to England the next day.
Upon return from leave in the U.S., then-Captain Wetmore scored steadily from November 1944 to January 1945. In that period he downed 12 more enemy fighters including 4.5 FW-190s on January 14th. His final victory was a rocket-powered Me-163 on March 15th. His final score was 21.25 destroyed and one damaged in aerial combat, highest score in the 359th Group and eighth best of all Americans in the European Theater. On VE-Day he was a 21-year-old major.