P-51 Fighters Flock To EAA AirVentureJohn Morris
America’s iconic World War II Mustangs flock to Oshkosh every year, and it is not unusual to see 25 or so packed together in the warbirds parking area. Each gathering brings out one or two new restorations, or older aircraft whose new owners have repainted them in the colors of their favorite aces. There are plenty of color schemes to choose from, as P-51s in the European theater gradually saw their drab olive camouflage replaced first with splashes of color and individual nose art, and later were stripped down to bare metal as they gained the upper hand in enemy skies.
P-51s of various models can be seen here, from the early “cabin” version to the ubiquitous bubble-canopied P-51D. This year's show even brought out a post-war Cavalier Mustang—originally a conversion of the fighter into a fast, two-seat civil transport, but it was not long before the aircraft found its way back into military service in Central America.