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P51K Mustang recovery

Article about: I love those .5s how did they deac them? I wonder how they got the barrels out to chop them. Were all 4 Fridgiaire M2s? I've 2 AC sparkplug models, not seen any Fridgidaire in the UK. ATB, C

  1. #1

    Default P51K Mustang recovery

    Here are some photos from a recent Ministry of Defence licenced Mustang recovery near Nantwich. The aircraft was lost on ferry flight in early 1945, killing the pilot, 1st Lt L D Johnson. Most of the rear of the aircraft had been destroyed in an intense post crash fire, with almost no aluminium surviving from behind the cockpit armour. The force of the impact buried the engine and prop boss nearly twenty feet underground, with the guns and undercarriage legs perfectly arranged as a front elevation of the aircraft. The guns, made under licence by Fridgidaire, were removed by a section five firearms certificate holder and are currently being deactivated. Contact was made with the pilot's next of kin in the States and they were keen to receive any personal effects which might be found. There was no trace of badges or insignia but a nicely labelled piece of Stromburg carburettor will soon be returning to the States. A single very large boulder was found next to the outermost starboard Browning and this was left on the surface as part of a future permanent memorial to the pilot. The engine will be displayed at the Fort Perch Rock museum, Birkenhead.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture altimeter.jpg   boss.jpg  

    hole1.jpg   group.jpg  

    panel.jpg   throttle.jpg  


  2. #2

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    Great pictures Ian_ ....... would have loved to have been there to help out !

    Was the pilots body recovered from the site shortly after the crash or were you anticipating coming across remains ?

    Don't forget to show the 50cals after they've been cleaned and de-ac'd !! I can't wait to see them.


    Steve T

  3. #3

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    I am glad this is going to a Museum,It would be nice to have a plaque put there.

  4. #4

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    Thanks Steve, the pilot was recovered and buried in the US cemetry in Cambridgeshire, then repatriated back to the states after the war. Had he not been recovered a licence would not not have been issued by the MoD. i'm looking forward to seeing the Brownings back as well but it might be a while. Will certainly post.

  5. #5

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    Great story and pictures, the first photo is the remains of the Altimeter, the main instrument panel, has survived in remarkable shape.

    Regards, Mike.

  6. #6

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    great post, can wait to see the pictures of the .50 cals and the engine once there cleaned up!
    regards Mad.ideas

  7. #7

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    Spent last weekend up on Birkenhead pressure washing and sealing the engine, ready for display. The back end had melted slightly in the heat but most of it was immaculate. The Brownings will be a while yet.

  8. #8

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    Hi Ian, that has cleaned up really well.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    Very nice. Looking good Ian.

    Steve T

  10. #10

    Default Re: P51K Mustang recovery

    All the Brownings have now come back from the dealer's/Birmingham proof house with tickets. Went up to the owner of the site yesterday and handed over the best example and a prop blade (very well refurbished, although not by me), which was a condition of digging up his field. He had also held on to the prop boss but decided to let it go for display so took it on to Birkenhead. My Browning is going to take a little work!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture IMG_6288.jpg   p51.jpg  


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