Case #97 is a static display at Barksdale AFB, LA. It is marked as 44-14570, but I am not yet sure of its actual ID.
Some WWII History:nnP51-D-20-NA, 44-14570/WD-A 'RIDGE RUNNER', Flown by Major Pierce 'Mac' McKennon, Officer Commanding 335th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, Spring 1944.nnMajor McKennon is credited with 12 kills and flew:nnTwo B's; 42-106911/WD-A (named 'Yippi Joe'), and 43-6896/WD-A (unnamed). Four D's; 44-14221/WD-A (named 'Ride Runner II), 44-14570/WD-A (named 'Ridge Runner'), 44-63166/WD-A (unnamed), and 44-72308/WD-A (named 'Ridge Runner III').nnThe photo pictured is of Ridge Runner, with crosses indicating he had not yet scored his last aerial kill. I believe the number of crosses on your photo is an incorrect restoration for the Ridge Runner. I think the Ridge Runner could only have borne 8 or 9 crosses, not the eleven shown. Too bad owners don't do their research better.nnMajor McKennon was a talented pianist and music student from the University of Arkansas. He initially showed little aptitude for flying, being washed out of USAAF training. Undeterred, he joined the RCAF and eventually reached a Spitfire squadron based in Britain, before finally transferring the USAAF in November 1942. He was shot down twice, avoided capture the first time and was smuggled out by the French Resistance. His second period in enemy territory was much more brief, since one of his pilots landed and flew his squadron commander back to Debden on his lap! McKennon amassed 11 aerial victories, seven of them in the P51, with a further 9.68 strafing kills.nnHis final Mustang (44-72308 Ridge Runner III) carried an Arkansas razorback on the nose (forward of the cockpit), rushing past two parachutes (his number of times shot down). It had a black-edged white rudder indicated the 335 FS. It had the red nose color sweeping back and down across the number three exhaust, and two rows of ten crosses directly below the port exhaust stack. Evidently, near the end of the war, they painted both the aerial and the strafing kills enmasse.
Case #97- My step father's father flew 44-14570 out of Debden in the UK. Call sign WD-D, any ideas on how I might be able to locate that exact aircraft if it is still in exsistance?
Hi Jon,nI just saw your posting about your Step father's father who flew 44-14570 WD-D. This aircraft survived the war, but sadly not the wreckers. The aircraft pictured above has parts from 44-14570 and other Mustangs, so it does kind of still live on. 44-14570 had a number of pilots through it's life, and the 1st was Major Pierce 'Mac' McKennon. He only had it for short period, but it was the 1st of the Ridge Runner series. It also had the code of WD-A while he was the pilot, but then it was passed on to Ted Lines another ace with the code WD-D. The WD-D code stayed with the aircraft until its sad end. The other pilots that I know that flew her after Ted Lines was Chuck Konsler and Robert Couse. If you don't mind me asking, who was your step father's father? nnRegards, Troy
mr i steggall
are there any pictures of p51b mustang of 335fighter squadron based at debden this aircraft was lost 1.8.1944 after engine problems and the pilot abandoned the fighter, number 43-24794 code wd h. the pilot was capt george green who was pierce mckennons wingman at times. thanks mr i steggall.