Arma Hobby North American P-51B of 1Lt Robert H. Powell Jr. in 1/72 Scale

Robert “Punchy” Powell hailed from Wilcoe, West Viginia.  He flew 83 combat missions with the 352nd Fighter Group and was credited with an Me 410 and Bf 109 destroyed with a further 3.5 aircraft destroyed on the ground.  His Mustang suffered an engine failure on take-off and was destroyed, but Powell extricated himself from the wreckage and survived.  He passed away on 22JUN16 at the age of 95.

Serial Number 42-106914 P-51B-15-NA “The West by Gawd Virginian” 1Lt Robert H. Powell Jr. 328th FS 352 FG, Eagle Strike 72-08 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Captain Ed Toppins in 1/72 Scale

Ed Toppins flew with the 99th Fighter Squadron based in Italy during 1944.  He scored four victories, the last being a Bf 109 on 26JUL44 while on a bomber escort mission to Makersdorf, Austria.  Toppins survived the war but was killed while piloting a B-25 Mitchel in December 1946.

P-51B “Topper III” Captain Ed Toppins 99 FS 332 FG, Aeromaster 72-175 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Capt. John Pugh in 1/72 Scale

John Pugh opened his account on 08APR44, a Bf 109 downed while escorting a bombing raid to Brunswick.  He was part of the 357th’s contribution to the shuttle missions to Russia.  He ended the war with six confirmed victories, four Bf 109s and two FW 190s.  He survived the war and retied as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1947.

Serial Number 42-106473 “Geronimo” P-51B-10-NA Capt. John Pugh 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Capt. John “Pappy” Medeiros in 1/72 Scale

John Medeiros’ Mustang wears a field applied camouflage of British colors, RAF Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray and carries an impressive tally bombing mission markers.  Medeiros was credited with one aerial victory, a Bf 109.  This aircraft was shot down on 19SEP44 by an FW 190A-8 piloted by Lt. Gerhard Vogt of 5./JG 26.

Serial Number 43-6813 “Pappy’s Answer” P-51B-7-NA Capt. John “Pappy” Medeiros 364 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-03 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Leonard “Kit” Carson in 1/72 Scale

Leonard Carson was the leading scorer of the 357th Fighter Group with 18.5 aerial victories and another 3.5 on the ground.  His P-51B was named “Nooky Booky” by his crew chief. Carson kept the name for luck as his aircraft were replaced, finishing the war in a P-51K named “Nooky Booky IV”.  His best day was 27NOV44 when he claimed five Focke Wulf FW 190s during a single mission.

Serial Number 43-6634 “Nooky Booky” P-51B-7-NA Leonard K. Carson 362 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Major John C. Herbst in 1/72 Scale

John “Pappy” Herbst was an American who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and was sent to England with the Eagle Squadron.  He claimed a Bf-109, but this was unconfirmed.  Herbst commanded the 74th Fighter Squadron in China, and flew both the P-40N Warhawk and P-51B Mustang in combat.  He was credited with 18 victories over Japanese aircraft, making him the second highest scoring pilot in the CBI behind Tex Hill.  He survived the war, but died in July 1946 while giving a flight demonstration in a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star.

Serial Number 43-7060 “Tommy’s Dad” P-51B-7-NA Major John C. Herbst 74 FS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-176 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Capt. Forrest “Jeep” Parham in 1/72 Scale

Forrest Parham enlisted in the Army and rose to rank of Colonel.  He scored three victories over Japanese aircraft while flying the P-40N before transitioning to the P-51B and adding two more to make ace with five.  He was shot down over Shanghai in April 1945, but evaded capture and returning to his unit a month later.

“Little Jeep” of Capt. Forrest “Jeep” Parham 75 FS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-177 decals

Construction posts Part I here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51-b-c-mustang-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Arma Hobby North American F-6C of Major Eduard O. McComas in 1/72 Scale

Eduard McComas was the commander of the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 23rd Fighter Group based in China.  He was shot down behind Japanese lines in September 1944, but evaded capture and returned to his unit with the help of Chinese guerrillas.  After his return he scored his first aerial victory and added steadily to his score.  On 23DEC44 he was photographing a Japanese airfield when the aircraft based there began taking off to intercept him.  McComas downed five Japanese fighters, becoming the only pilot in the CBI to score five in a single mission. 

“Miss Revenge” F-6C MAJ Eduard O. McComas 118 TRS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-177 decals

118th TFS color photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/05/18/north-american-p-51c-f-6c-mustangs-of-the-118th-tactical-reconnaissance-squadron-color-photographs/

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of LCOL David “Tex” Hill in 1/72 Scale

Tex Hill was recruited from the U.S. Navy to fly with the American Volunteer Group “Flying Tigers”, rising to command the 2nd Pursuit “Panda Bears”.  He was credited with 12.25 kills with the AVG.  When the Flying Tigers were officially disbanded on 04JUL42 Hill was one of five AVG veterans who stayed on to form the nucleus of the USAAF’s 23rd Fighter Group.  The group eventually traded in its P-40s for P-51 Mustangs, and Hill rose to the rank of Colonel and command of the 23rd.  Hill destroyed another 6 Japanese aircraft while flying the Mustang, bringing his final score to 18.25, but did not display his kill markings as he thought they would draw attention.  He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Brigadier General in 1968.

Serial Number 43-12405 “Bull Frog” P-51B-1-NA 23FG LCOL David “Tex” Hill, Aeromaster 72-176 decals

Construction posts here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51-b-c-mustang-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of 1Lt Ralph “Kid” Hofer in 1/72 Scale

On an impulse, Ralph Hofer joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941.  He was shipped out to England and flew Hurricanes, but saw no combat until he transferred to the 4th Fighter Group at Debden, then equipped with the P-47 Thunderbolt.  Hofer was undisciplined and reckless in the air, preferring to attack enemy aircraft on his own without regard for the mission.  His luck held until 02JUL44, when he was shot down by flak while single-handedly strafing a German airfield in Yugoslavia.  Hofer was credited with destroying 30.5 German aircraft, including ground victories.

Serial Number 42-106924 “Salem Representative” P-51B-15-NA Ralph “Kid” Hofer, 334 FS 4 FG, Kits-World KW172002 decals

Construction posts here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51-b-c-mustang-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/