P-51D Mustang 'Nooky Booky IV'
Operator: The Red Bulls
Year of Manufacture: 1950
Powered by: Rolls Royce Packard Merlin
Colour scheme: USAAF, 357th Fighter Group 44-74622 “Nooky Booky IV” flown by Major Leonard “Kit” Carson.
North American P-51D 44-74427 F-AZSB (construction number 122-409676).
This Mustang flies in the colours of P-51D 44-74622 “Nooky Booky IV” with code "GA-C" as flown by Major Leonard “Kit” Carson, an ace of the 357th Fighter Group with 18.5 confirmed victories.
This Mustang was originally flown by the RCAF with serial 9592. It was taken of strength in 1958 and soon sold to the USA as N9148R. Two years later it was converted into a Cavalier Executive Mustang and registered as N2251D.
It was bought by North American Rockwell and flown by the famous Bob Hoover. N2251D crash-landed in 1965 and was badly damaged in an explosion in 1970. It was rebuilt on both occasions.
After a number of consecutive owners the Mustang received the livery of 44-74622 “Nooky Booky IV” in 1994. The fighter was sold to Christophe Jacquard/JCB Aviation in France in 1998. Two years later Nooky was registered in France as F-AZSB and sold to Christian Amara.
It was operated by the France Flying Warbirds of Melun-Villaroche and, more recently, for the SDPA - Société de Développement et de Promotion de l'Aviation at La Ferté Alais.
Now she is operated by The Flying Bulls, Austria.
In 1999 44-84847 was under restoration in North Dakota. The following year she joined The Fighter Collection and subsequently moved to a new owner Anglia Aircraft Restorations Ltd and now wears the colour of the RAF Duxford based ‘Contrary Mary’. Built too late to see combat service in World War Two, P-51D 44-84847 was one of the last Mustangs constructed at North American Aviation’s Dallas, Texas, plant. Details of her post war service career are limited, but there is photographic evidence, from September 1951, of her serving with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Kimpo, South Korea, during the Korean War.
By late 1951 the 45th TRS were replacing their aging Mustangs with RF80 Shooting Star jets, and so 44-84847 was shipped back the US to serve with the Air National Guard until around 1956. Around this time she slips off the radar until January 1999 when she re-appears in North Dakota as a restoration project. The airframe moved to Chino, California for a full restoration with the decision made to modify her to two-seat TF-51D configuration.
Image credit: TBA