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Late war P-51D with 2nd seat for radar officer

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  • Duggy
    Flight SIM Pilot
    • Mar 2012
    • 1142

    Late war P-51D with 2nd seat for radar officer

    While going through the Freeman collection I came across this rather bizzare P-51.
    Has anyone any idea as to its role/mission & what radar is it carrying, looks similar to what Mossie nightfighters carried??

    "A two seat P-51 Mustang , serial number 44-72210 of the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group,coded VF-S, right-sided view, with cockpit double-split open. This was because the aircraft was modified to take a second seat for a radar operator, with antenna fitted on the wing and was the personal machine for Colonel Stewart, dated June 1945." Information provided by Debden historian Keith Braybrooke."
    Thanks in advance.
    Duggy the intrigqued.
  • Mustang51
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2008
    • 279

    #2
    So frustrating not being able to see that pic.........

    Comment

    • wieesso
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Aug 2006
      • 1862

      #3
      Maybe this article could be of help http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/ar...m-sunny-search

      Martin

      edit: "Not as far as I know for the RAF machines. There was at least one two seater fitted with radar by (for?) the USAAF. 44-72210/VF-S with a "Lark" system but details are scarce." http://www.warbirdinformationexchang...c.php?p=304708
      Last edited by wieesso; 15th February 2015, 21:58.

      Comment

      • trumper
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Aug 2003
        • 6742

        #4
        Originally posted by Duggy View Post
        ...." Information provided by Debden historian Keith Braybrooke."
        I believe sadly Keith Braybrooke passed away recently,if it was the same Kieth .
        Last edited by Moggy C; 16th February 2015, 11:07.

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        • Moggy C
          Moderator
          • Jan 2000
          • 20534

          #5
          It would certainly make an excellent intruder mount.

          Moggy
          "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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          • Bob
            Bob
            Aerophile
            • Jan 2000
            • 3662

            #6
            Originally posted by Mustang51
            So frustrating not being able to see that pic.........
            Can you see this one then?

            http://www.americanairmuseum.com/sit...?itok=h_ZwgL4-
            Under my gruff exterior lies an even gruffer interior...

            行雲流水

            Warbirdskies Blog

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            • trumper
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Aug 2003
              • 6742

              #7
              I did include the photo in my quote above hoping that Mustang51 would see it that was as well but been edited

              That was me. We don't repost images, even for the best of reasons The later link was the right answer - Moggy
              Last edited by Moggy C; 16th February 2015, 13:54. Reason: Explanation

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              • JohnTerrell
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Apr 2010
                • 419

                #8
                With regards to the two-seat/split canopy modification, a few other D-models had the same conversion done in the field. According to Martin Kyburz (Swiss Mustangs), there were four of the two-seat converted D-models used by the Swiss AF. Potentially, all of these had already been modified while in USAAF service in England (late in the war/post-war) prior to going to the Swiss AF in 1948.

                One of these is pictured here, P-51D-5-NA 44-13316. Photo from Martin Kyburz/Swiss Mustangs.



                And here are a few more photos/description of the same aircraft: http://www.cebudanderson.com/swissmustangs.htm

                Here is the war-weary marked P-51D-5-NA 44-13885, also modified into a two-seater (hack), photographed at Mount Farm (base of operations for the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group). Photos from the Roger Freeman collection.



                Last edited by JohnTerrell; 16th February 2015, 14:51.

                Comment

                • Oxcart
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Nov 2007
                  • 2100

                  #9
                  I had no idea such a thing existed.
                  Give a man a fish and eat for a day. Give a man a fishing rod and he'll eat for a lifetime. Give a man religion and he'll die praying for a fish!

                  Comment

                  • JohnTerrell
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Apr 2010
                    • 419

                    #10
                    Martin (wieesso), a few posts back, mentioned a Warbirds International magazine article about Col. Everett Stewart's 44-72210 with the radar and dual-seat modification. I have that magazine, and unfortunately the article doesn't provide any specific details at all (nothing about what radar type/why it was used/how well it did) - instead, it more/less asks for any readers to chime-in if they know more about it. In a clearer version of the photo, it appears the antenna array sticking out of the leading edge of the wing is mounted through one of the gun ports, and the right-side gun bay may have been where the radar equipment was installed.

                    On any of these two-seat conversions, more than just the canopy modifications, in order to fit a seat in the back, the fuselage fuel tank, liners, and radio rack had to be removed and the SCR-522 radio box and battery had to be repositioned.

                    (By the way, if the name Col. Everett Stewart doesn't immediately pop-out at you, aircraft like his "Sunny VIII" probably do.)

                    Comment

                    • Duggy
                      Flight SIM Pilot
                      • Mar 2012
                      • 1142

                      #11
                      Thanks John for the info.
                      Still would be nice to find out its role, I guess night fighter, can be ruled out, as why go to all that trouble of installing specialized equipment & not slapping on some black paint.
                      Regards Duggy.

                      Comment

                      • PeterVerney
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • May 2009
                        • 1022

                        #12
                        The aerial array look as if it was the old AI Mk4, so seems an oddity. There is an RAF Proctor in the background so pic must be in UK
                        Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

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                        • Bager1968
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • May 2005
                          • 3635

                          #13
                          By late 1944 even single-seat USN radar-equipped fighters had an AIA 3 cm or AN/APS-6 3 cm radar in a closed dome.

                          http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/...SNFRadar2.html

                          AIA radar:
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                          AN/APS-6 radar:
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                          Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of the pub, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's pint.

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