A striking pair of historic American war planes will take to the Lincolnshire skies this summer as part of the inaugural Scampton Airshow.
The beautifully painted World War Two fighter aircraft, operated by Peter Teichman’s Hangar 11 Collection in Essex, will display on both days of the airshow, which takes place at RAF Scampton on September 9-10.
The North American P-51 Mustang and the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, flew with the US Army Air Corps during WW2 and their combat capabilities earned them a reputation that today ranks alongside that shared by the legendary Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane.
The Mustang, which is called ‘Tall In The Saddle’, joined the US Army Air Corps in December 1944 and although it was originally earmarked for service with the Eighth Air Force in England, this was quickly changed to the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations.
Assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron, it was part of the 332nd fighter group, which became very famous as the first all Afro American manned Group known as “The Tuskegee Airmen” although references to them at the time refer to them as ‘The Red Tails’.
She entered combat with the 15th Air Force in early 1945 based at Ramatelli Airfield in Italy, serving on escort and ground attack sweeps over Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.
The aircraft still carries the battle scars to this day, with bullet repairs in several places on the fuselage.
Produced in large numbers, the Kittyhawk was an effective and potent fighter.
Supplied to air forces in America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Russia, the P-40 fought with distinction in every theatre of operation.
Only a handful of Kittyhawks are still in airworthy condition and she has become a real crowd favourite at airshows.
Scampton Airshow Director Paul Sall said the two aircraft would play an important part in reflecting Lincolnshire’s rich aviation heritage and in particular the county’s association with the US Army Air Corps during World War Two.
He said: “Mustangs were stationed in the county as part of the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force and Tall In The Saddle could well have been among them had she not been reassigned to Italy.
“This exciting addition continues to build on what is set to be a sensational flying display and further compliment the huge array of ground activities planned for Scampton Airshow.
“Both aircraft have stunning paint schemes and they will offer a colourful and evocative sight for our airshow visitors over the weekend.”