Wretton Sign Gary Trouton

The Mustang - Have you seen it?

December 2004

Ron waxes lyrical about tje Mustang aircraft recently seen over the Wissey community

There have been occasions during the past many, many months when I have heard a fast low flying aircraft with the unmistakable sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine. I have often tried to see it but always I was too late or its flight path was too low or too far away.

On October 7, however, I finally succeeded. A beautiful P51 Mustang flew low over Wretton Church heading north-west, as it banked I had a view of its top side, it was dark blue with a white diagonal stripe across one wing and a US insignia. To my surprise I had another view of it later on its return journey. I have no idea where it comes from, does anyone know? I would assume that it is privately owned; perhaps it comes from one of the US bases. I wonder where it goes each time.

For the uninformed the Mustang, in its more developed form, was arguably the best fighter plane of World War II. It was American, built by the North American company, but it looks very British. This is not surprising because it was built to a British specification and was ordered for the RAF. Early models, such as the F6A were disappointing as they were fitted with an American engine, an Allison V-1710, subsequent models were fitted with Rolls Royce Merlins which transformed it into a first class aeroplane. Merlin engines were then built in the USA under licence by Packard. Over 600 Mustangs were supplied to the RAF, the first being delivered in November 1941 but, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and the Germans declared war on the USA, much of the subsequent production was diverted to the US air force.

(This little piece will demonstrate what a sad character I really am and, if the editor includes it, it will indicate that he is almost as sad.)

Ron Watts

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