P-51 Mustang Volume 1: North American's Mk. I, A, B, and C Models in World War II

Published: May 27th, 2019     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035
ISBN #: 978-0-7643-5674-2
E-Book ISBN #: 0764356742
Other Publication Information: Hardbound, A4, 9.25” x 9.25”, 112 pages
Price: $19.99
Product provided by: David Doyle Books

David Doyle's book on the P-51 Mustang is one of the latest entries in the 'Legends of Warfare' series with entries in Ground, Naval, and Aviation. The first Ground book focused on the Panzerkampfwagen IV, the first Naval book was on the USS Yorktown (CV-5), and the first two Aviation books were are on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (#4) and Douglas TBD Devastator (#3). The Legends of Warfare series has expanded rapidly since its 2017 debut in the market with now over 50 titles released. This hard cover series covers a wide variety of monographs at a good price point.

After many years of being published in enthusiast publications focused on military vehicle restorations, David Doyle 'graduated' to full-fledged books in 2003. His first book was a hefty 512 page history of US military vehicles. He has now had more than 100 books published in military vehicles, aviation and naval topics. David and his wife Denise have amassed a collection of ten Vietnam era military vehicles that still displays at shows. In June 2015, he was honored with the Military Vehicle Preservation Association's Bart Vanderveen Award, given in recognition of "...the individual who has contributed the most to the historic preservation of military vehicles worldwide." Be sure to check out David's website where you can see, and buy at a discounted price off of MSRP, all his books that are still available.

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War, and several other regional wars. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation to a requirement from the British Purchasing Commission. Originally, the British had approached North American Aviation to build the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter under license for the Royal Air Force. Instead, North American proposed what would become the Mustang. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on September 9, 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew on October 26, 1940. More than 15,000 Mustangs would eventually be built.

The front cover features a color photograph by Rich Kolasa of North American P-51B-1-NA, s/n 43-12252 that was initially delivered to the USAAC in 1943. It had crashed into Lake Louise, Florida, on November 14, 1944, killing the pilot, Lt. Dean Gilmore. Jack Rousch recovered her from the lake in 2001 and restored her to flight condition. Her first flight since her crash was on June 8, 2008, registered as N3551E. She is carrying the livery of triple-ace Bud Anderson's "Old Crow" and is restored to the markings of Bud's 375thFighter Group P-51B Mustang. The back cover features an enlargement of a color photograph from page 39 of Maj. John "Jeep" Crowder's A-36A, 42-83901, in North Africa. You get 112 glossy pages graced by clear, well captioned, photographs. I counted 131 photographs; 77 in color and 54 in black and white. Many of the selected photographs are being published for the first time.

Table of Contents:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: NA-73X
  • Chapter 2: Mustang Mk. I
  • Chapter 3: XP-51
  • Specifications: P-51A, P-51B-1-NA/C-5, P-51B-15-NA/C-10-NT [Table]
  • Chapter 4: F-6A
  • Chapter 5: A-36A
  • Chapter 6: P-51A
  • Chapter 7: P-51B
  • Chapter 8: P-51C

David Doyle does a great job of covering the early Mustang in detail through well-captioned photographs. Each chapter begins with about a page of text describing the Mustang variant, followed by period photographs, many in color. Where available, color walk-arounds of museum or privately-owned flyable aircraft are also depicted providing nice detailed shots. A good example of this is the F-6A cockpit photograph displaying the K-24 camera (Page 30).

Two photographs (Page 66) caught my attention. These black and white pictures were of the British Mustang X prototype that mounted a Rolls-Royce Merlin to a P-51B Mustang. Five airframes were converted, displaying some interesting cowlings as the British experimented with the engine mounting. The single-stage super-charged Allison V-1710 was a great engine below 15,000 feet, but the war was changing. The two-stage super-charged Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that powered the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX gave the Mustang the ability to perform at altitudes up to 40,000 feet.

This is a gorgeous hardbound book and is well worth the money. David Doyle provides plenty of detailed photographs with detailed captions. I am definitely looking for more monographs in this new and affordable series of books from Schiffer.

My thanks to David Doyle Books and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Rear Cover
    Rear Cover
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  • Page 30
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  • Page 66
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  • Page 107
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