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7th AAF VLR P-51 pilot on Iwo Jima


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At the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's WWII Weekend earlier this month, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to combine my love of warbirds, collecting, and my favorite subject, the P-51's from the 7th AAF who flew from Iwo Jima. A P-51 in the markings of the 457th FS, 506th FG was going to be at the show, so I contacted the owner and told him I was going to get 'dressed' up as a pilot who would of flown the plane and I would just hang out near it, telling 'their story' and answering questions, etc. He was all for it, and I ended up having a blast doing it. I can't tell you the number of people who didn't even have an idea the P-51 was used the in Pacific theater! Anyways, I felt like I did those soldiers some justice, got their story out there, and made people aware of their contributions to the war.

 

Here's a few photos of my set up, which was pretty basic, but I thought went together well. Everything is original except the boots, those are repro: Size 42 AN-S31A flight suit, B-5 Mae West, B-5 Flight goggles, A-14 Oxygen Mask, AN-H-15 Flight helmet, Shoulder holster, C-1 Survival Vest.

 

I also brought along a few extra large pictures of the original aircraft that I would show people, and they were well received. I had so much fun and enjoyed it that I think I want to take it to the next level......so next up, looking for a parachute rig I think! Seems like B-10 backpack type was worn late in the war, but I have to do a little more research on it.

 

Enjoy the pics and my classy mug shots haha :-)

 

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506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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Different goggles and angle....., but not too far off!

 

Original:

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506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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My version:

 

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506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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post-89245-0-43198600-1498572974_thumb.jpg

 

And a picture of 'Kwitcherbitchin' making a pass during the show

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506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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DUDE!! So awesome! I think you nailed it perfectly

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

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USMF's custom photo resize tool:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/




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Thanks guys. It was a blast, but I most enjoyed telling people the story of these pilots, which hardly anyone knew about. Felt really good to share my knowledge with everyone. What was really great was at one point, the pilot was there, and we both were going....him on flying the P-51 and me on the markings and history.

 

Dan, yeah, that picture of Lt. Garrison does look pretty close doesn't it! Maybe I'll put the stuff on and go get a pic like that in the backyard ;)

Thanks for the suggestion too....something I knew, yet I was so excited getting changed, didn't think of it. In fact, I actually at first had my shoulder holster on backwards....would of been a tough draw if I had to use it!!!

506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.

 

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Well done Brian! I'm glad you had the opportunity to spread the word about what these pilots did. A great job all around!

"Sometimes the bravest meet death with their deeds known only to heaven." --S.L.A. Marshall

 

 

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IMO - Without that "monster of a horse" Merlin engine and extra fuel tank, bombers would have suffered even more of a devastating loss. The war would have been extended even more in Europe. Definitely one of my favorite fighters of WW2.

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Very nicely done! Cool to have those photos now as well!

 

JD

AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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Outstanding....when I first looked at this post I scrolled down without reading. I actually thought that I was looking at a really nice color photo from WWII. You did a great job.

Ronnie

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