Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA7706 P-51D Mustang 2nd SQ, South African Air Force “Miss Marunouchi” Korea 1952. Buy online now at Flying Tigers.
Later in WWII the Allied bombers were flying deep into Germany but suffered tremendous losses because of the lack of range the fighter escorts had. German fighters would wait beyond the range of the Allied fighters and then attack the vulnerable bombers. Once the P-51 called Mustang by the British had the Allison engine replaced with a British Merlin it possessed the high performance that had been lacking. With drop tanks the P-51 had the range to escort bombers all the way to Berlin and back.
2nd Squadron, South African Air Force sailed to Japan on September 25, 1950. There they received training on the F-51D Mustang supplied by the USAF. When they were ready the 2nd Sq., SAAF became one of four squadrons assigned to the USAF 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing. The 2nd flew their first combat mission in Korea on November 19, 1950 and on the 30th moved to their new base K-13 near Chinhae. The 2nd Squadron insignia and name “Cheetah Squadron” was adopted because of the two cheetah cubs they brought with them. Another first when the 2nd came to Korea was the use of the Springbok (antelope) in the centre of their roundel. The Cheetahs main role was close air support, interdiction flights against enemy logistics and communication and providing air protection during rescue
operations. Unfortunately the aircraft #361 ex USAF 44-74863 and named “Miss Marunouchi” was written off on October 22, 1952 when Slt B.M. Forsyth was wounded in combat and made a forced landing. The 2nd flew their Mustangs in 2,890 missions and
10,373 individual combat sorties. Out of the original 95 Mustangs they started with there were 74 lost due to accidents and combat. The loss ratio for the SAAF pilots in Korea was 1 out of every 6.