The Swiss Mustangs were War veterans !
The Swiss Air Force had purchased its 130 Mustangs from USAAF-surplus stocks in Germany, and most of these aircraft had seen action during the closing stages of World War 2 over Europe with various units of the 8th and 9th USAAF. Among those aircraft, there is a number of 'famous' examples, i.e. flown by aces or taking part in special encounters. During the immediate post-war years, some remained stored at depots while others saw continuous duty with the Occupational Forces in Germany. The former history of more than 100 aircraft has been identified so far, and there are many very colourful and also famous airframes among them. Below some examples:
P-51D-20-NA 44-72374 LH-U "Betty E" was the mount of Lt. Col. Wayne K. "Blick" Blickenstaff, CO of the 350th FS 353rd FG. He is one of the rare 'ace in a day', i.e. he shot down 5 enemy aircraft on one mission, while flying this aircraft on 24th March 1945. In February 1948, this aircraft became Swiss Air Force J-2002.
P-51D-20-NA 44-72199 G4-A was assigned to Capt. Charles E. 'Chuck" Weaver of the 362nd FS 357th FG in 1945. Weaver also was an ace and he managed to shoot down a German Me-262 Jet Fighter on 18th April 1945 while flying this aircraft. In February 1948, this aircraft became Swiss Air Force J-2019 - see photo below
Always interesting is to show an individual aircraft in different liveries, i.e. how it looked while still serving with the USAAF, and later, after acquisition by the Swiss Air Force.
P-51D-20-NA J-2010, former 44-72212 (see above). Note the mixture of early and standard Swiss markings on this Mustang; square insignias on the wings and roundel on tail-fin. Dübendorf Airfield, ca. Summer 1951.
© Martin Kyburz / Swiss Mustangs 2003 - 2019