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A hunk o' Mustang!


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To be precise, it's actually a piece of a Packard V-1650 engine, the license built US version of the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin which powered the Spitfire and which transformed the P-51 Mustang into arguably the greatest fighter of WW2.

 

This fragment of engine was recovered from a crash-site here in the UK by a group of aviation archaeologists. I have a file with photographs and other data relating to it, but annoyingly, it's in a box with some other stuff somewhere and I can't find it at the moment! However, as I recall, the plane in question was a P-51D of the 8th AF and was sadly lost on a training flight in early'45 due to an apparent combination of adverse weather conditions and pilot error...a not uncommon occurance in the crowded skies over Britain during WW2.

 

I'm not a grease monkey but I believe the relic is a part of the cylinder assembly. I've posted some technical drawings of a Packard Merlin for reference.

 

 

post-8022-1293115823.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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post-8022-1293116232.jpg

 

 

Sabrejet

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Very interesting conversation piece!

 

It's a piston, pin, and connecting rod lodged into a portion of cylinder head. The intake and exhaust valves, springs, and even seats are visible, along with a portion of camshaft

 

In the detail from your diagram, below, the area of the cylinder head you have (or a section identical to it) is circled. The head sits on top of the block and is bolted to it, and the block contains the cylinder bores

 

You can see how a part of the cylinder head is 'dished', at the bottom. The piston is of course below the red circle, in the cylinder bore. During the crash, the piston was driven up into and lodged in the 'dish' of the head, breaking that bit of head and camshaft away.

 

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Thanks for that very technical explanation/description Chris...it's good to know exactly what I've got there!

 

Sabrejet :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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No sweat

 

On second examination of your photos, I'm not sure the piston is actually jammed onto the head. It looks bolted together by a threaded rod or bolt through the center of the piston face

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No sweat

 

On second examination of your photos, I'm not sure the piston is actually jammed onto the head. It looks bolted together by a threaded rod or bolt through the center of the piston face

 

If you say so Chris! :w00t: Either way, it's a heavy chunk of metal!

 

Ian :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Ian,

 

Have you got a tail number?

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

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Ian,

 

Have you got a tail number?

 

 

Probably. It came with a bunch of papers, photo-copies and pics of the dig etc. However, as I stated earlier, they're stashed away in a folder somewhere and I haven't been able to put my hand on them...yet! Since we moved to this house I've got many boxes of stuff still stored up in the roof space...I'm pretty sure it's in one of them!!

 

Ian :think:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Awesome! I've got a couple hunks o' airplane here. One of them was an RCAF Wellington that my grandfather saw crash in Exeter just before he went across the channel as a replacement infantry officer in July 44. I've done a bunch of research into it and have actually gotten in contact with the families of the Canadian crew that was killed in the crash.

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2009.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2010.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2011.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2012.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2013.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2014.gif

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I have copies of two books entitled "Down in Wales" and "Down in Wales 2" which document in great detail all of the known WW2 aviation crash sites in Wales..the part of the UK where I live. There are lots of them! Each site is grid referenced and there are verbal details of how to reach them (many are on remote hillsides) and also data re the plane, crew and circumstances surrounding each crash. Fascinating stuff.

 

Ian

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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UPDATE For those of you who might be interested, I've located the info re the P-51 which I'd hitherto misplaced.

 

The aircraft in question was a P-51D of the 355th FG /358th FS, Serial # 44-14342, "Susan B II", out of Steeple Morden. It crashed on 1-16-45. The squadron had escorted B-24s on a raid on Ruhland, Germany. Despite heavy flak the raid had been successful. Unfortunately, in the meantime, the weather which was already bad on take off had deteriorated further in their absence. Consequently, the squadron was directed to land at a friendly airfield in France, or, if they made it across the Channel, to head for either RAF Manston (Kent) or Goxhill (Lincolnshire)

 

As a result, five planes were lost due to running out of fuel. Three pilots bailed out, the other two made dead-stick landings. One of the pilots was 1st Lt. Edwin Fees (circled) This fragment of engine was recovered from the crash site in 2001.

 

post-8022-1293208571.jpg post-8022-1293208586.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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The P-51D in question Y-FH, had previously flipped over on take-off but had been repaired and returned to service.

 

post-8022-1293208733.jpg post-8022-1293208711.jpg post-8022-1293208722.jpg

 

 

Sabrejet

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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This photo of the pilots of the 358th FS taken in England reveals some interesting uniform variations, in particular the apparent wearing of "summer khakis" by two of the men. This was highly unusual in Britain...I'm not sure the uniform was even sanctioned for wear in the north-western ETO?

 

post-8022-1293209705.jpg

 

Sabrejet :think:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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This photo of the pilots of the 358th FS taken in England reveals some interesting uniform variations, in particular the apparent wearing of "summer khakis" by two of the men. This was highly unusual in Britain...I'm not sure the uniform was even sanctioned for wear in the north-western ETO?

 

post-8022-1293209705.jpg

 

Sabrejet :think:

 

 

Ian,

 

Absolutely awesome history!

 

I'm thinking that the guy to the left is wearing khakis, but the one on the right looks like he's wearing pink pants and probably a lighter pinks shirt. I'm definitely intrigued by this one! Any idea when this pic was taken?

 

Jon

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

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'Fraid not. It's a copy of the original so there's nothing written on the back. Some are wearing B-10s, others shirts so maybe spring > summer '44?

 

 

Ian :think:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Ian,

 

My thought is probably September-October 44 at the earliest.

 

I took the liberty of doing a little digging on your Mustang. According to Littlefriends.co.uk, she carried the name "Reluctant Dragon" at one point too. http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php...p;searchString=

 

http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php...p;searchString=

 

It looks like when Clarence Kouche got her as his assigned aircraft, he changed the name to "Susan B II". After bailing out of 342, he was assigned another D model which he subsequently named "Susan B III".

 

http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php...p;searchString=

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2009.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2010.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2011.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2012.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2013.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2014.gif

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Hi Jon..fascinating! The info I have was supplied with the engine parts. It was compiled by one Ken Wells (whom I don't know) an aviation archivist/archaeologist who was involved in the dig. I acquired it via a third party so have had no direct contact with him or his associates. The deeper one digs...(no pun intended!)

 

Ian :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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I love this sh!t!

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2009.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2010.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2011.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2012.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2013.gifhttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/usmfribbons/donation2014.gif

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