RAF-in-Combat's Squadrons #46: Mustang - The RAAF


Phil Listemann


16.50 Euros


Scott Van Aken

Notes: ISBN: 979-1096490-76-9. Available at www.raf-in-combat.com 52 Pages

The latest in RAF-in-Combat's series on Commonwealth squadrons concentrates on the P-51D Mustang in RAAF service. In mid 1944, the RAAF decided that the Mustang would be the plane to replace its Kittyhawks and Spitfires. While the Spitfire VIII was faster in a straight line, it was woefully lacking in range, something needed in the SWPA. It was also decided that the aircraft would be built by the CAC.

The first 80 aircraft were provided as knockdown assemblies while the second batch were bought straight away. These latter aircraft were mostly a mix of P-51D and P-51K aircraft, which differed mainly in the prop used. They were also planes that had rocket rails, something the RAAF really wanted. Eventually local production got underway, though none of the planes that entered the RAAF ever saw combat as the war ended earlier than the RAAF had planned. However, the type was used as the Australian contingent in Japan starting in 1946. Just as the Japanese based unit was getting ready to disband, the Korean War broke out and they were sent to Korea, where the RAAF used Mustangs until the advent of the Meteor in mid-1951. Even then they were used at home until the mid-1950s in a variety of secondary tasks.

This book follows the usual format  with a brief history of the type then the more extensive history of the units themselves. There's the usual information that includes tables of losses as well as some great period photos and the usual number of superb full color profiles of aircraft used by these units. There is also a full listing of planes and their first flight and unit information. In addition, a small section on Dutch Mustangs is included as the Dutch got their Mustangs from the RAAF.

Thanks to all the well done research and choice of illustrations, it makes for a superb addition to the series and its reasonable price is one that should appeal to many. These do make for great references for the fans of the RAF.

September 2021

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