Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA7745 P-51K Mustang “Tall In the Saddle” 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, WWII. 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.
P-51K Mustang 44-72035 “Tall In The Saddle” was delivered to the USAAF on December 21, 1944. Originally destined for the 8th AF in England it was soon changed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations with the 15th AF in Italy. 44-72035 was assigned to the 332nd FG/99th FS known then as the “Red Tails” and later “Tuskegee Airmen”. The squadron provided bomber escort and ground attack sweeps over Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Pilot George Hardy flew many missions in this aircraft and “Tall In The Saddle” survived WWII wearing many bullet hole repairs.