North American P-51B Mustang – Ralph “Kid” Hofer Salem Representative, 334th FS, 4th FG, USAAF DISPLAYEDAdd to compare
1 in stock
1 in stock
Gemini Aces 1/72 scale GAUSACCC: North American P-51B Mustang Ralph “Kid” Hofer Salem Representative, 334th FS, 4th FG, USAAF. Limited edition of 504 models.
Length 5.25 inches Wingspan 6.25 inches
PLEASE NOTE: Model is ex display. Comes with box, all parts and display stand. Has a couple of imperfections as follows: Paint touched in where necessary, one lowered undercarriage door glued back together, base of rudder on left side of model casting small area not 100%. Photos of actual model.
The KID Hofer scored 15 wins with the 334th FS of the 4th Fighter Group. He was tall and powerfully built; it was difficult to reconcile his frame with his chronic smile and guileless manner. He let his hair grow into a chestnut mane and he wore a snake ring and a blue & orange football jersey with the number 78 on it. Hofer commenced bagging Huns as unceremoniously as he had enlisted in the RCAF. It was an accepted axiom that a pilot flew 10 or 11 missions before his eyes were good enough to even see a Hun, let alone bag one. But Kid Hofer bagged a 190 on his first mission and astonished all by gaily diving down to strafe a flak boat in the Channel. The veterans said pilots could not get a Jerry the first trip, but Hofer had combat film to show for it. It didn’t take him long to become the only Flight Officer in England with five swastikas on his kite. Hofer appeared to have a gay disregard for all the dangers European skies held. No other pilot in the group would prowl about there without a wing man, and preferably a squadron. Not so Hofer, who was out to see how many Huns he could bag. He got a bang out of the Salem Chamber of Commerce passing resolutions eulogizing his part in the global war and the newspaper clippings. One day he had to turn back from a mission because a wing tank wasn’t feeding, but his mechanic quickly fixed it and Hofer took off before he was checked in. He took a spin around Holland and Belgium, scouring for Huns and blazing away at flak posts in the Zuider Zee. On his return he saw Lt. Col. Clark bouncing over the grass towards his plane. “I’m in for it now,” Hofer murmured to his crew chief. “Where the hell you been, Hofer?” Clark angrily asked. “Sir, I had to turn back,” said Hofer. “But these guns have been fired. Explain that.” “Oh, that, sir, I — well, I did that before I aborted,” said Hofer. Another time he was on the tail of a Jerry blasting away. He could see the half-inch slugs ripping into the Hun, but the Hun suddenly pulled away and left him, for Hofer had used up the gas in his fuselage tank and had forgotten to switch over to his wing tanks. Meanwhile, another pilot whipped in and opened fire on Kid Hofer’s Hun. “Break! Break!” shouted Hofer.
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 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.”