North American F-6D (P51D) Mustang – The Flying Undertaker, 82nd TRS, USAAF, William Shomo, Philippines 1945
2 in stock
2 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale Legends AA32211: North American F-6D (P51D) Mustang #44-72505 “The Flying Undertaker”, 82nd TRS, USAAF, William Shomo, Philippines 1945
Length 5.25 inches Wingspan 6.25 inches
William Arthur “Bill” Shomo was a United States Army Air Forces fighter pilot during World War II. He is credited with eight victories during the conflict. Seven of these occurred during a single mission on 11 Jan 1945 while flying a F-6D reconnaissance version of the P-51 Mustang, for which he received the Medal of Honour. His Citation read: “Maj. Shomo was lead pilot of a flight of 2 fighter planes charged with an armed photographic and strafing mission against the Aparri and Laoag airdromes. While en route to the objective, he observed an enemy twin engine bomber, protected by 12 fighters, flying about 2,500 feet above him and in the opposite direction Although the odds were 13 to 2, Maj. Shomo immediately ordered an attack. Accompanied by his wingman he closed on the enemy formation in a climbing turn and scored hits on the leading plane of the third element, which exploded in midair. Maj. Shomo then attacked the second element from the left side of the formation and shot another fighter down in flames. When the enemy formed for Counterattack, Maj. Shomo moved to the other side of the formation and hit a third fighter which exploded and fell. Diving below the bomber he put a burst into its underside and it crashed and burned. Pulling up from this pass he encountered a fifth plane firing head on and destroyed it. He next dived upon the first element and shot down the lead plane; then diving to 300 feet in pursuit of another fighter he caught it with his initial burst and it crashed in flames. During this action his wingman had shot down 3 planes, while the 3 remaining enemy fighters had fled into a cloudbank and escaped. Maj. Shomo’s extraordinary gallantry and intrepidity in attacking such a far superior force and destroying 7 enemy aircraft in one action is unparalleled in the southwest Pacific area.”
Nearly 500 P-51 Mustangs were built or converted to perform the tactical reconnaissance role under the F-6 designation. The F-6A was the first version of the Mustang to see active service with the USAAF, flying its first missions from Tunisia with the 154th Observation Squadron in April 1943. The RAF also used a number of their Mustangs at photographic reconnaissance aircraft. The majority of F-6s carried two K-24 cameras, in two different configurations. In a version of the F-6 based on the P-51 to P-51C, an oblique camera was placed in the back of the cockpit, with another vertical camera placed in the fuselage behind the radiator. In the F-6D and F-6K, based on the bubble canopied P-51D and P-51K, the oblique camera also had to be placed in the rear fuselage, being placed just above the vertical camera.
Designed to meet an RAF requirement for fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-51 Mustang was first flown on October 26th, 1940. This versatile aircraft was capable of escorting bombers on long-range missions, engaging in dogfights, and dropping down to destroy German or Japanese targets on the ground. At least eight versions of the P-51 were produced, but it was the definitive P-51D that gave the Mustang its classic warbird appearance. Britain and the US both tested the airframe with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, which gave the aircraft tremendous performance gains. The Truman Senate War Investigating Committee called the Mustang “the most aerodynamically perfect pursuit plane in existence.”