Memoirs of Korea
by Captain Bernard W. Peterson
of Korea Page 22
Short Straw is a tremendous book written by Captain Bernard
W. Peterson about the Korean War and the The North
American P-51 Mustang
The P51 mustang is probably the
most famous of all of the
Warbirds. This airplane was manufactured
by North American Aviation during WW2. The plane took only 90 days
to design and became the worlds fastest propeller airplane, ever, setting
all of the low altitude speed records for propeller driven airplanes even
today. There are many of these airplanes still flying today at air shows
everywhere. This plane is also a favorite at the Reno Air Races at
Stead Field just north of Reno Nevada. Many Warbirds race at Reno
every September. The P51 is 32' 3" long, 13' 8" high, and a wingspan
of 37'. The mustang weighs 7000 lbs empty and has a max weight of
12100 lbs. It used two different types of engines, the Allison and
the Rolls Royce Merlin which produced 1650 lbs. The racing planes,
by contrast, pump out over 4500 hp. The P-51 mustang had a max speed
of 437 mph and a cruise speed of 275 mph.
The P-82 was a twin fuselage
version of the P-51, with two engines.
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With the loss of 2520 P-51's in combat
in Europe, the USAAF claimed destruction of
Click picture for close up
4950 enemy aircraft in the air and 4131 on the ground - a better ratio
than any other U.S. fighter.
Picture Scanned by C. Jeff
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|A P-51 Mustang receives
a load of fragmentation bombs for its next mission. The
P-51D Mustang had already earned an enviable reputation in Europe, starting
in December 1943 with the U.S. Eighth Air Force. Britain had named
it the mustang when they first received their early versions in Nov. 41
and the name stuck. From an early prototype built to British specifications
in only 120 days, it evolved into the best fighter in Europe, escorting
bomber formations. Its top speed reached 441 mph at 30,000 ft.
With the loss of 2520 P-51's in combat in Europe, the USAAF claimed destruction
of 4950 enemy aircraft in the air and 4131 on the ground - a better ratio
than any other U.S. fighter. The 1200 hp
V-1710-81 Merlin in-line
engine could be distinguished from the noisier radial engines of the Corsairs
we flew. The ROK air force had a squadron of F-51's at our base at
Kangnung (K18) while I was there.
Excerpt from "Short
Straw," by Captain Bernard Peterson.
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On the Youth of America
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see what your kids are learning now
by the webmaster
Why is it important to look at airplanes?
Airplanes, especially planes like the F-101 Voodoo show the rapid growth
of technology in the world and in the United States that provided us with
the great freedom that we enjoy today. With this freedom comes responsibility.
The responsibility to learn all we can not only about airplanes or history,
but about technology. Technology is the most important product of
the United States has today. To keep our country on top of the worlds
technology requires us to have the most trained workforce anywhere.
Aviation is important because aviation and aerospace both exhibit the limits
of our technology. If our students learn about aviation they will be able
to understand any field of work. We must ensure that aviation, airplanes,
aircraft and aerospace are words on all of our children's lips.
Airplanes create dreams.
Dreams of leaving the restriction of a two dimensional world. Dreams
of having freedom to travel anywhere, in any direction at any time and
any distance. Aircraft give us the big advantage to do all of these things
in only a short while. When we dream of airplanes, we lift our heads
to the sky. We feel the pride of having limitless capabilities.
We don't pick up airplanes, airplanes lift us up and our minds are launched
into new horizons. We need airplanes and we need to keep airplanes
in all of our minds. Aviation gives our people an upward mobility
that no other branch of technology can ever do. As long as we feed
our dreams, we have someplace to go.
C. Jeff Dyrek
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