Segment 4


Anderson describes how the P-51 Mustang [Annotator's Note: American P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft] came to be.He explains the modifications that had to be made to that aircraft such as fitting it with a British engine. He also mentions the XP-75 which was supposed to be the plane to replace the P-51. Wright Field did not originally like the Mustang and had looked into replacing it but after testing the XP-75 it was dropped in favor of the P-51.When the Americans got to England they decided to bomb in daylight so they could use the Norden Bomb Sight. There were terrible losses.In late 1943 the bombers were heading deeper and deeper into Germany. The Luftwaffe shot down a lot of bombers. At about this time the first P-51s arrived.The first Mustangs were sent to the 9th Air Force. The 9th Air Force ended up lending many of their Mustangs to the 8th Air Force. Anderson's 357th Fighter Group was equipped with the P-51 B. The 357th was originally assigned to the 9th Air Force but was transferred to the 8th.When Anderson got to England there many P-38 and P-47 groups in the 8th Air Force. The Mustang was so successful that when the war ended 14 of the 15 fighter groups in the 8th Air Force were equipped with P-51s. The 56th Fighter Group was the only group with P-47s.Anderson was the group's gunnery school. He was assigned to take a Mustang to the Royal Air Force's gunnery school. That way he was able to get about 35 more hours of flying time than the others in his group.Anderson describes the P-39s he flew before getting the P-51.


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