P-51 Who? is back!
My guess is 44-84896 as hangared at Torrance, CA By the way, great to see P-51 Who? back in action!!
Yes, it is indeed N5416V 44-84896, owned by Ken Scholz and hangared at Torrance.
I remember this P-51 sitting in the weeds at Torrance back around 1968. The radiator was missing (looks like it still is). Somewhere I have a picture of myself as a 10 year old boy looking dreamily into the cockpit.
nice anybody fixin it up?
44-84896 was assigned to my squadron from 1947-1953.
I have a lot of time with this old lovely. I know it was sold in 1957. The Radio compass mod was after sale as we never had that in the service. Bob
In the mid 60's as a 10year old, my brother dragged me on bikes from Redondo Beach to see the P-51's at the Torrance Airport. There were two sitting in the weeds near the tower for sale ($13,000 each I think) and we climbed up to look into the cockpit and dreamed of buying and flying them. One took off on a test flight sometime later and crashed into a wall just over Palos Verdes Blvd 1/2 mile short of the ocean. To this day, when I visit Redondo Beach, I drive past that crash site and can still see where the repaired portion of the wall is. I am convinced that pilot knew he could not make the ocean and put that plane between the Blvd and the homes on the other side of the wall. A true hero in my mind.
Dear sir, my name is Erik Nelson, I live in torrance. I am doing some research into the p 51 crash that took place on 23 August 1964. The aircraft crashed on the corner of PV Blvd and Calle Mayor. I went there today, met some nice folks and they directed me to the area where it happened. The repair to the wall is easy to see-have to go behind the hedges. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much, Erik Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org
To Erik Nelson.
Erik, I witnessed the P-51 crash that day and I will never forget what I saw ans a 12 yr old kid. I was walking home from Torrance Beach and it was a typical late summer afternoon with the marine layer starting to move in..
I recall hearing the rumble of the Merlin engine overhead and suddenly, a sputter, one or 2 pops and an erie quiet. I looked up to see what seemed to be the plane headed upwards in a steep climb, then a stall, then a spiral downward, almost as if it was a stunt. It wasn't.
Still spiraling and headed at a 90 degree angle to Earth I knew as a 12 yr old, it was over. I had a knot in my throat and my stomach felt sick. The plane impacted and made one loud sound, almost like a sound of 2 cars impacting head on. I could hear screams of people in the distance, probably residents fleeing their homes.
As I arrived close as I could get to the accident site, there were parts strewn all over roofs of the homes, the grass parkway and the street. Cars had come to a stand still and people were running over to the crash site but, could not get too close as, it had exploded on impact, leaving a fire that was burning very hot. There was no chance of any survivors in this one.
I found out from my dad a few days later that was having a discussion with his boss at Douglas aircraft, Long Beach, who had flown a 51 during the war that, the engine had overheated causing vapor lock. The pilot instead of attempting an emergency landing on a highly populated beach, probably stalled the aircraft over the road / houses.
Another unfortunate point was that it was a conversion to a 2 place and the pilot was taking up a prospective buyer up for a ride whom, was a local banker. They both perished.
Hello Dave, thank you so much. I should check this more often. I am still doing research and will post anything new that I find.
i hired on with continental in july 79 as an aircraft mechanic it was shortly after that i transfered to the terminal 6 and i met ken s , the gentlmen standing on the wing of that p-51. manny stores have gone around on how he porcured that acft and how much he paid . im sure his sprit will be on board when this acft makes its frist flight .