Worldwide Military use of the North American P-51 Mustang

Immediate post-World War II years - Occupation in Germany 1945 - 1948
F-6K Mustang of the 10th TRG at Fürth-Atzenhof Airfield (R-28), Winter 1946
P-51D-25-NA 44-73156 WR-B 'Wolverine' of the 355th FG 354th FS seen here at Schweinfurt, Germany, during Summer 1945. The red-yellow-red fuselage band was applied to all aircraft attached to the occupational forces in Germany as recognition markings (via Peter Randall). 
Another colourful example, P-51D-25-NA 44-73294 OS-I 'Ole VIII' of the 355th FG 357th FS, assigned to the Squadron CO Major William J. 'Billy' Hovde. This aircraft later was sold to the Italian Air Force (via Peter Randall).

Occupation in Japan 1945 - 1950
After VJ-Day in August 1945, P-51's also were stationed on various airfields on mainland Japan for occupational duties. During Summer of 1950, at the outbreak of the Korean War, the USAF was lucky to have some veteran P-51's still available in Japan, which quickly were pressed into service until refurbished aircraft arrived from the U.S.

F-51's of the 35th FIW 41st FIS at Johnson AB in 1948 - most of these aircraft later saw service during the Korean War - see details below (Jack Cook).

44-72672 #92 previously served with the 506th FG 458th FS from Iwo Jima in 1945
44-73608 #90 later was #80 with 35th FIW 40th FIS and then 51st FBS(P) in Korea and eventually was lost on 31st July 1950 to enemy action
44-74281 #87 served with 35th FIW and was lost on a combat mission on 12th July 1950 over Korea
44-74014 #96 was lost in an accident with the 18th FBG in Korea on 17th September 1951

F-51D's being prepared for duty in Korea

I will continue to add more information and photographs on the immediate post-war use of the P-51 Mustang, mainly in Germany. Some of these Mustangs were later purchased by the Swiss Air Force, others went to Sweden and Italy.

©  Martin Kyburz / Swiss Mustangs 2003 - 2019