Hobby Master HA7701 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Lt. Col. Glenn Eagleston, 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, 1945 (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 1:48 scale replica of a USAF P-51D Mustang that was flown by Lt. Col. Glenn Eagleston, who was attached to the 354th Fighter Group during 1945. Sold Out!
Release Date: May 2010
Historical Account: "Valor in Combat" - The 354th Fighter Group, dubbed "Pioneers," started flying P-51B's over France in December 1943. Originally part of the Ninth Air Force, the 354th was loaned to the Eighth for bomber escort duty. They received their Merlin-powered P-51B's in November, along with the formidable Don Blakeslee as a temporary CO. Blakeslee led the 354th on several missions and drove the pilots hard; he insisted that they engage the German fighters and maintain a collision course, in a deadly game of aerial "chicken," counting on the Germans to break off first. The 354th flew through the bad winter weather of 1943-44, typically dividing its three squadrons into four color-coded flights of four planes each.
Among the outstanding pilots of the 354th that winter were Glenn Eagleston and Jim Howard. On January 5th, 1944, the 354th was covering bomber withdrawal from Kiel when they engaged a gaggle of Luftwaffe fighters. Flying at 23,000 feet, Eagleston caught an Fw 190 with a short burst, at 45 degrees of deflection. The Fw dove away steeply and Eagleston pursued. Both planes accelerated rapidly; the the German went into a violent, unrecoverable spin. Crashing into the ground, the Focke Wulf became Eagleston's first victory - which he might not even have hit with his machine gun fire. On the Kiel mission of Jan. 5th, the Group claimed 18 enemy aircraft.