Corgi 1/72 scale P51D Mustang diecast model of "Tempus Fugit", William A. Daniel airplane serving with USAAF 31st fighter group in Italy, 1944. The 31st Fighter Group was the first American Fighter Group to participate in the European Theatre of Operations during World War 2, to land in Algeria during the Northwest African invasion and to be based on Sicily. Also, it was the first American Fighter Group to be based on Malta. It was supposed to have been the first American Fighter Group to be based in Italy, but by the time the Allies had captured its airdrome, another American Fighter Group had already moved into Italy to occupy an improvised airdrome constructed after the invasion. The 31st Fighter Group was chosen to give umbrella protection to the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in Casablanca and was selected to escort the Italian high command from German-defended Italy to Sicily during the Italian surrender negotiations, prior to the Italian invasion. Later they were selected to go in with the assault troops at Oran, Gela, Salerno and Anzio.
In 1940, at the request of the British, the P-51A ("Mustang") fighter plane was designed by North American Aviation. The design
showed promise and purchases of Allison-powered Mustangs began in
1941, primarily for photo reconnaissance and ground support use due to it's limited
high-altitude performance. But in 1942, tests of P-51B's using the British
Rolls-Royce "Merlin" engine revealed a much improved speed and service ceiling.
In late 1943, Merlin-powered P-51B's entered into air combat over Europe.
Providing high-altitude escort to B-17's and B-24's, the Mustang's scored heavily over
German interceptors. By the end of the war, P-51's had destroyed 4,950 enemy
aircraft in the air, more than any other fighter in Europe.
Mustangs served in nearly every combat zone, including the Pacific. Over 14,800 P-51's were
built by North American Aviation. During the Korean Conflict, P-51D's were used
primarily for close support of ground forces until withdrawn from combat in
Source and Links: U.S.A.F. Museum.
New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum
National Aviation Museum, Canada
Curtis Fowles, P-51 Mustang Links
Detailed, limited edition.
Scale: 1/72, Wingspan: 6.25"
Loose Parts: (not suitable for young children)