Dutch Profile No 2


P-51 D/K Mustang History, Camouflage and Markings


Review by David Harvey

Introduction

This is the second publication in the Dutch Profile series covering the aircraft of the Dutch Airforce (RNEIF). This publication covers the P-51 D/K and, unlike it's predecessor, is written in both Dutch and English.

The Dutch came to Australia after Java fell and started to build up their military to fight back against the Japanese. They used a number of aircraft including the P-40N until an order was placed for 41 Mustangs from America. Of this order only 40 arrived in Australia and they were put together in the RAAF aircraft depots, the first 19 being delivered to the Dutch Personnel and Equipment Pool at Bundaberg Queensland. All 40 aircraft left Australia during April/May 1946, flying from Bungaberg to the airbase at Tjililitan in Batavia via Cloncurry, Darwin, Timor, Bali and Soerabaja (a total of 5200 Km). After this flight they went into operational service with the RNEIF.

The book

The book is 38 pages long with 35 of those being black and white photos and line drawings etc. The cover card is printed in colour and the inside covers as well as the rear cover have side profiles of various Dutch P-51's, most of which are NMF/Silver with olive drab anti reflection panel.

The book starts with a brief history of the Mustang followed by the way in which the aircraft was acquired by the Dutch. Following this brief history the book goes into the different conflicts that the Mustang participated in along with the different SQNs that employed it. Page's 28/29 cover the Camouflage and markings of the Mustang including some of the technical specifications for the markings. There is also a page covering the registration numbers of the aircraft including the 'tail numbers' allocated to them where known. Pages 33 - 35 consist of drawings that cover the sides as well as views of the top and bottom of the wings.

The photgraphs included in this publication are by far the best part of it. There are numerous images that cover the crew in the usual poses as well as maintenance, refueling and arming of the Mustang. The images that interested me the most apart from those taken here in Australia were the ones that had good detail views of 'photo containers'. These recon pods were conversion of drop tanks and came in at least two different types judging by the images here.

Summary

This book is mainly for those interested in the RNEIF of course, but is also of interest to those that study the history of those forces that were based in Australia during WWII. The photos in this publication are also worth seeing for good detail shots of areas not often seen of the Mustang.

 

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