Last updated 7 September 2018
AUSTRALIAN CIVIL MUSTANGS

Military disposals North American P-51 Mustangs and Australian licence-built CAC Mustangs in civilian hands

Compiled by Geoff Goodall

Jack McDonald's CAC Mustang VH-FCB at West Wyalong NSW in August 1964 before another of his polished airshow displays.
Photo by John Hopton

         The Royal Australian Air Force first operated the North American Mustang when RAAF No.3 Squadron attached to the Desert Air Force in the Mediterreanean theatre had its P-40 Kittyhawks replaced with RAF-supplied Mustangs in November 1944. They saw extensive action during the Allied advance through Italy and Yugoslavia, often carrying underwing bombs of up to 1000 lbs.
         On the home front, during 1943 the Australian Government decided on the Mustang as replacement for the RAAF P-40 Kittyhawk fighters.  Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne was contracted to build P-51D Mustangs under licence from North American Aviation and 200 were produced. In addition a total of 299 North American-built P-51D and P-51K models were procured, which were shipped to Australia for RAAF service.


Mustang A68-67 above the CAC factory and airfield at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne in 1946.
Photo: CAC via John Hopton collection


CAC Mustang production circa 1948 alongside the Comair bus line, a post-war venture to utilise the plant

        While the majority of RAAF Mustang disposals were to scrap metal merchants, some went to aircraft sales agents or parts dealers. However a small number were acquired in reasonably good condition by Australian private owners who planned to fly them as civil aircraft. They were then confronted by the Department of Civil Aviation's policy that former military combat type aircraft were ineligible for issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness because they may have been subjected to unlogged manouevres that exceeded their design structural stength. This was based on the premise that military aircrew were not bound by the civil Air Navigation Regulations which required civil pilots to report any event that may affect the airworthiness of the aircraft.
        DCA devised this policy to discourage further civil Mustangs in the wake of the bureaucratic aggravation caused by the very first example, VH-BVM registered in 1953 by aviation adventurer James "Wac" Whiteman. What seemed a routine new aircraft type certificate was quickly complicated by the owner's last minute demands for concessions. His speed record attempt Sydney-Auckland resulted in an International SAR Phase when the under wing fuel tanks did not detach and hung incorrectly to the wing attachments, seriously affecting the aircraft's handling.  Planning to enter the Mustang in the 1954 London-Christchurch air race, Whiteman complained bitterly in the press about DCA's lack of approval for his proposed air racing modifications including wing tip auxiliary jet engines and claimed their attitude forced his withdrawal.
        Later Mustang owners used various ploys to get their aircraft civil registered, enlisting support from senior politicians or using the clause in the DCA policy that allowed ex military combat aircraft to be flown on specialist military support roles such as high performance target towing, gunnery radar targets or Navy cooperation exercises. Once civil registered, no change of ownership was allowed, however this was neatly side-stepped by leasing the aircraft to the next owner. The following aircraft histories give examples of all these.

This summary of Australian civilian-owned Mustangs is presented in order of:
1. CAC Mustangs built in Melbourne (A68-1 to A68-200)
2. RAAF P-51Ds
3. Imported warbirds


             CAC CA-17 Mustang Mk.20    c/n 1326                                            A68-1,  (VH-EMS),  N7773,  N51WB                       
29.4.45
A68-1 first flight at Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation factory airfield at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne.
Pilot was RAAF Flt Lt James E. Schofield on attachment to CAC as a test pilot

Prototype Australian Mustang. The first 80 CAC Mustangs (A68-1 to A68-80) were assembled at Fishermans Bend from 100 sets of semi-completed P-51D components supplied by North American Aviation, powered by pre-used Packard Merlins shipped from USA.
4.6.45
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-1. Received No.1 Aircraft Depot Laverton ex CAC
4.7.45
Received No.1 Aircraft Performance Unit, Laverton ex 1AD for armament trials.
9.47
Unit renamed Aircraft Research and Development Unit, Laverton (ARDU)
13.12.48
Minor damage, tailwheel retracted during landing at Parafield SA
5.4.49
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex ARDU for storage
13.7.51
Received CAC Fishermans Bend ex Tocumwal by road transport for servicing and modifications
7.10.52
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CAC for storage
3.53
A68-1 was one of six retired Mustangs at Tocumwal selected to be made operational for a ferry flight to Emu claypan in the South Australian desert where top secret preparations were under way for Project Totem, British atomic bomb tests. A68-1,-7,-30,-35,-72, -87 were delivered from Tocumwal to Emu.

At Emu the six aircraft were positioned along a dirt track radiating from the two bomb towers to assess damage at varying distances and angle to the explosion. One was parked behind an earth mound.
Other Australian military equipment including a Centurion tank was used for similar testing.
15.10.53
Totem 1 was detonated, followed by Totem 2 on 27.10.53

Damage to the Mustangs was minimal but they were left in situ when the Emu test site was abandoned after the two Totem tests. The British atomic weapon test program moved to a permanent site at Maralinga SA.
The Emu test site was declared a Prohibited Area, which prevented access by ground or air.
67
At the request of the Australian Government, a British "clean up"of remaining installations and equipment at Emu commenced. Radiation levels were checked and declared to be safe for humans. 
5.67
Australian Department of Supply included the six Mustangs in its routine listings of Government property available for disposal by sealed-bid tender process
7.67
Successful tenderer for the six Mustangs was Stanley Booker/ Stan's Airplane Sales, Fesno California

Stan Booker was visiting Adelaide SA at that time to purchase RAAF Dakotas held at DAP, Parafield.
He was an air racing pilot who owned several warbirds including a Mustang in California. Booker made an arrangement with an Adelaide syndicate headed by Tony Schwerdt, a commercial  pilot based at Parafield who had also bid for the Mustangs. In return for the the Parafield group salvaging all six aircraft and removing them from Emu by the deadline stipulated on the tender documents, Booker would transfer ownership of one aircraft of their choice. The Schwerdt group selected A68-1 because they had ground-run its Merlin engine during their Emu inspection visit and the airframe seemed to be a potential flier.

The Adelaide syndicate camped at Emu and worked with limited equipment in searing heat to dismantle the 5 Booker Mustangs. Each was loaded on a truck which carried them along sandy tracks to the Watson railway siding on the Adelaide-Perth railway line.  Here they were loaded on Commonwealth Railways freight wagons for transport to Adelaide. These five dismantled Mustangs were shipped to San Francisco, departing Port Adelaide on 20.1.68 as cargo on board MV Sierra.
10.67
Ownership of A68-1 transferred to Tony Schwerdt syndicate, Adelaide SA

The syndicate members at Emu had worked on A68-1 with the intention to fly it out. An application had been sent to DCA for a ferry permit Emu-Adelaide but no response had been received by the end of October 1967 which was the deadline for removal of the six aircraft from Emu.
31.10.67
Tony Schwerdt test flew A68-1 at Emu and flew it to Coober Pedy SA with gear extended

Parked at Coober Pedy while waiting for DCA ferry permit to continue to Adelaide
6.12.67
Flown Coober Pedy-Parafield by Schwerdt, escorted by a DCA Aero Commander flown by Jim Schofield, A68-1's original test pilot, who was now a senior DCA officer.

Parked at Parafield while Schwerdt applied for civil registration, requesting VH-EMU. 
The name Desert Rat was painted on the nose and the Merlin run occasionally.
DCA reserved VH-EMS as the closest registration available, but DCA Central Office refused to issue a Certificate of Registration due long-standing policy not to certify ex military combat type aircraft.
7.10.68
Registered in USA as N7773 with owner Stan Air Inc, Fresno California.
Type quoted as P-51C, identity A68-1
Stan Air Inc was an associated company of Stan's Airplane Sales. The reason for Stan Booker taking out US registration of an aircraft he no longer owned is unclear. The quoted type P-51C was probably to divert FAA attention from it being a CAC Mustang which was ineligible for US type certification as a P-51D.
10.5.69
Sold by Tony Schwerdt to Ed Jurist trading as Vintage Aircraft International Inc, Nyack New Jersey
14.5.69
DCA letter to Schwer advising that the Department would now issue a Certificate of Airworthiness subject to a list of maintenance requirements. After 18 months negotiating with DCA, receiving this letter just days after finalising the sale to USA was later described by Tony Schwerdt "I was not bitter but I will say I was absolutely disappointed."
6.69
Shipped dismantled from Port Adelaide for North America

Unloaded at Baltimore.  Ed Jurist reported that the airframe had suffered severe damage during the ship voyage and package No.3 which included the propeller was not unloaded. Jurist claimed it as an insurance total loss.
71
Incomplete airframe was dumped in grass in the weather at Doyle Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
73
Restoration project with Randy Sohn and Roger E. Baker, Confederate Air Force, Harlingen Texas

Owned by John R. Sandberg, Robstown Texas

Owned by Gary R. Levitz, Dallas Texas
.79
Registered N51WB Bill & Don Whittington, Fort Lauderdale Florida
Identity quoted as "P-51D 44-15757" to avoid FAA certification problems for a CAC Mustang
79-80
Moved to Fort Collins, Colorado for rebuild to fly by warbird specialist engineer Darryl Skurich
11.80
Test flown Fort Collins, painted in camouflage and (inexplicably) RAAF serial "A68-1001"
.81
Sold to Wiley C. Sanders, Wiley Sanders Truck Lines, Troy AL 
Retained the RAAF camouflage paint scheme, named Kangaroo, later Jeanie Too.


Currently registered to Sanders


CAC test pilot James Schofield poses with A68-1 at the time of its first flight April 1945.          Photo: CAC


A68-1 abandoned at the Emu atomic test site, South Australia in June 1967.           Photo by Geoff Goodall


Tony Schwerdt arrives at Parafield Airport, Adelaide on 6 December 1967 after ferrying A68-1 from Emu.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Parked at Parafield during 1968, with paint touch-ups to the faded RAAF markings.    Photo by Barry Tate


Wiley Sanders' N51WB at a Confederate Air Force, Harlingen Texas October 1982.    Photo by Paul Thallon


             CAC CA-17 Mustang Mk.20    c/n 1330                                               A68-5, VH-BVM, G-ARKD
.45
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic

The first 80 CAC Mustangs (A68-1 to A68-80) were assembled at Fishermans Bend from 100 sets of semi-completed P-51D components supplied by North American Aviation, powered by pre-used Packard Merlins shipped from USA
6.7.45
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-5. Received No.1 Aircraft Depot Laverton ex CAC
27.8.46
Received RAAF Point Cook ex 1AD Storage, for under cover storage
21.5.48
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex Point Cook for under cover storage
29.9.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
28.7.50
Received CAC Fishermans Bend ex Tocumwal by road transport for servicing and modifications
17.10.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CAC for storage

James "Wac" Whiteman, Sydney, a long-serving RAAF pilot and pre-war commercial pilot approached Government Ministers requesting the release of a retired RAAF Mustang in which he could compete in the 1953 London-Christchurch Air Race. He claimed the same conditions under which two RAAF Mosquitos had been released to other Australian race entries (VH-KLG and VH-WAD)
30.1.53
Sold for 100 to Flt Lt J. L. D. Whiteman, Sydney NSW
2.53
A68-5 ferried Tocumwal-Bankstown by Whiteman for civil certification inspection by Fawcett Aviation
9.7.53
Registered VH-BVM: James L.D.Whiteman, Sydney NSW.  Painted all red. Named Rebel
16.7.53
Whiteman in VH-BVM departed RAAF Richmond at 11.11.am on an attempt to break the speed record between Sydney and Auckland NZ of 3 hrs 49 mins set by a Pan American Airways Boeing Stratocruiser.
His timing commenced as he overflew the Sydney Airport control tower.  The flight suffered radio failure, u/s supercharger and when he attempted to jetison the empty under-wing auxiliary fuel tanks, only the forward release locks engaged, resulting in both tanks hanging by the rear attachment which caused severe buffeting making the aircraft almost uncontrollable.  He was preparing to ditch in the Tasman Sea when the tanks finally broke away.
Despite these serious problems, Whiteman established a new record time 3 hrs 31 mins
26.7.53
Returned Auckland-Sydney via a refuelling stop at Norfolk Island
9.53
Whiteman withdrew his entry in the London-Christchurch Air Race when news reached Australia that Canberra jet bombers and Viscount and DC-6 airliners were being accepted as competitors
31.5.54
Change of ownership: Arnold J. Glass/ Australian Aviation Investments, Sydney.  Named Johnny Zero

Arnold Glass was a Sydney aircraft engineer and private pilot. He was proprietor of the successful Capitol Motors car dealership group. He was managing director of AAI which he founded as an aircaft sales business at Bankstown, importing three crated Percival Proctors from England in 1951 for local resale.
Glass was a flamboyant figure, telling the press that he purchased the Mustang with the winnings of his race horse Johnny Zero. He raced
Arnold Glass later owned Lear Jets and a HS.125, purchased two ex RAAF Vampires in 1971 which his hopes to fly from Bankstown were not achieved. He retired living abroad in Monaco and UK. 
In the 1990s Glass purchased disposals RAF Lightnings and other jet fighters under the name Ruanill Investments, Cranfield England.
8.8.54
Arnold Glass in VH-BVM departed Bankstown as an entrant in the 1954 REDeX Reliability Trial for aircraft. Route was Brisbane, Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Wagga, Sydney with 30 aircraft competing.
Glass withdrew at Brisbane claiming the Mustang's severe handicap made it impossible for him to win.
55-60
Based Bankstown Aerodrome, Sydney and flew infrequently
8.59
Leased to Fawcett Aviation, Bankstown to assess handling for low speed target towing operations and check air ground communications with the Army UHF system while Fawcett's Mustang VH-BOY was being prepared to commence an Army target towing contract.
25.8.60
Change of ownership: Ronald Flockhart, Edinburgh, Scotland

Ron Flockhart was a young racing car driver who trained for a British private pilot licence with a view to breaking International speed records. He was in Sydney to arrange the purchase of VH-BVM and have it prepared for his planned Sydney-Londonspeed record attempt. His sponsor was United Dominions Trust.
24.2.61
Registered G-ARKD Ronald Flockhart, Edinburgh, Scotland
Type quoted as "North American Aviation P-51 Series 20", identity "A-68-5"
24.2.61
British CofA issued at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne after inspection by Brookes Aviation, which had engineering approvals for maintenance on their Mustang VH-UWB.
28.2.61
Flockhart in G-ARKD departed Sydney at 10am on his record attempt, first stop Alice Springs NT where his brief refuelling stop was handled by Connellan Airways at Townsite Aerodorme
4.3.61
Taxying for departure Athens, Greece the Mustang was delayed on the ground by ATC which was giving priority to airliners. In the hot weather the Merlin engine overheated and suffered a blown head gasket.
The aircaft was u/s and Flockhart was forced to abandon the record attempt

Parked at Athens Airport while arrangements made to repair the Merlin. Flockhart was optimistic that he would soon have the aircraft in UK and entered it in a June 1961 London-Cardiff air race.
However he encountered frustrating delays in having a replacement Merlin installed
7.9.61
Cockpit area damaged by fire at Athens during ground run of the replacement Merlin

Aircaft declared a write off. Abandoned fire damaged, parked at Athens Airport

The parking area was later cleared for airport development circa 1970.  The Mustang's derelict hulk was reportedly sent to a scrap metal yard. Despite searches of Athens Airport surroundings by various parties over the years, no sign of it has ever been reported.
21.11.61
Cancelled from British Civil Register as "destroyed"


6.6.12
Restored to British Register as G-ARKD: Classic Flying Machine Collection Ltd, Dereham, later
Leycoussaudie, France

Assumed to be a restoration project based on the remains of G-ARKD salvaged from Athens

Currenty registered, with No Flight declaration


Bright red VH-BVM at Bankstown in 1954 with Capitol Motors and REDeX Trial 1954 markings,
plus named "Johnny Zero"
.                                 Howard Morris collection via Greg Weir


Bankstown 1960 all red but no markings.                                                         John Hopton Collection


Bankstown February 1961 as G-ARKD for new owner Ron Flockhart, who is taxying for a test flight.
Photo by Brian Foley


Refuelling at Alice Springs NT 28 February 1961 on his record attempt to London, Flockhart is on the right.
Photo by Ian Leslie, via Civil Aviation Historical Society


Parked at Athens, Greece in June 1961, after Flockhart had been forced to abandon his speed record attempt.
Photo: Derek Macphail collection


Abandoned at Athens 1962 with stripped engine and fire damaged cockpit with melted canopy.
Photo: John Hopton collection


             CAC CA-17 Mustang Mk.20    c/n 1364                                               A68-39, VH-BOY, N551D
.45
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic

The first 80 CAC Mustangs (A68-1 to A68-80) were assembled at Fishermans Bend from 100 sets of semi-completed P-51D components supplied by North American Aviation, powered by pre-used Packard Merlins shipped from USA
3.12.45 Brought on RAAF charge as A68-39. Received No.1 Aircraft Depot Laverton ex CAC
18.4.46
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for under cover storage
6.8.47 Received Air Ground Radio School, Ballarat Vic for instructional purposes, ex CMU Benalla storage.
The aircraft had not been allocated to any operational unit and had low flying hours
22.10.47 Approved to converted to Instructional Airframe No.13 at AGRS

Held by AGRS Ballarat with Instructional Merlin No.84 installed. AGRS renamed School of Radio
4.12.53 Last entry RAAF Airframe record card: To be listed for disposal by Department of Supply
1.54 DoS Disposal List No.1/54 included two "Airframe Instructional" aircraft located at RAAF Ballarat:
Mustang A68-39 and DH Mosquito A52-600.
3.54 Sold to Wilmore Aviation Services (Victoria) Pty Ltd, Melbourne
15.7.54 Flown out of Ballarat by Wilmore Aviation Services

DoS file report dated 19.10.54 regarding these Ballarat aircraft:
"The experience of this Department has been that instructional airframes have little sales value and as a result public tenders were invited in Melbourne and Sydney only. It was not surprising when only one tender was received. This tender from Wilmore Aviation Services (Victoria) Pty Ltd was 105 for the Mosquito and 206 for the Mustang.

When it was revealed to this Department that the Mustang was flown out of Ballarat RAAF station, a check with the Department of Air disclosed that although internal instructions had been issued for both aircraft to be reduced to instructional airframes by removal of engines etc, these instructions were not implemented. Instead of this Department selling airframes having little value, two complete aircraft were involved in this transaction. The view of the Assistant Crown Solicitor has been sought."
15.11.54
The investigation resulted in WAS agreeing to cancel their purchase of the Mosquito in return for retaining the Mustang
-
Sold to Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney

This established maintenance, charter and sales organisation was founded by aircraft engineer Doug Fawcett in 1947. A subsidiary company Air Training Pty Ltd operated the successful Illawarra Flying School from the Fawcett hangar at Bankstown.

In his book Pilots and Propellers, Doug Fawcett described his Mustang operation in detail. He had acquired A68-39 for a project with Bobby Gibbes of Gibbes Sepik Airways in New Guinea. They planned to use a Mustang with large capacity under-wing fuel tanks to deliver aviation fuel from Port Moresby to the Highlands for the airline's Noorduyn Norsemans. Road transport of fuel to airstrips was laborious or not possible. DCA approval was not forthcoming, so Fawcett needed to find work for the Mustang.  
He was approached by the Australian Army requesting target towing by high performance aircraft to train and assess accuracy of Army ground gunners. The Army would supply winches and drogues
12.10.59
Registered VH-BOY Air Training Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney

Flown on Army target towing operations for next 18 years. Pilots were selected instructors from Illawarra Flying School with a specialist winch operator in a rearward facing seat behind the pilot. The Army contracts required 5 drogues to be carried on each sortie. They could be wound in and replaced with a new drogue in flight, to asess the number of hits on each pass
4.6.76
Takeoff accident Bankstown. Pilot F. W. Pike was departing on a ferry to Darwin when he aborted the takeoff due to a power surge. Ran off runway end and undercarriage collapsed, no injuries. Repaired.
.78
Fawcett sold VH-BOY and VH-BOZ to Doug Arnold/ Warbirds of Great Britain Ltd, Blackbushe, England
31.10.79
Struck-off Australian Register
12.79
Sale cancelled when Australian Customs found that Arnold was smuggling Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Nr163824 (ex Sid Marshall collection at Bankstown) with the crated Mustangs. The Messerschmitt did not have the export approval certificate required under the Australian heritage protection legislation of the time.
.80
Sold to Gordon W. Plaskett, King City California
Plaskett was a warbird pilot and dealer. He was reportedly in partnership with David Lindsay of Cavalier Aircraft in Florida to market their large Mustang parts and engine holdings at the end of production of the Cavalier range of  modernised civil and military Cavalier Mustang models.

Shipped crated from Sydney to San Francisco
.81
Sold to William G. "Tiger" Destefani / Flying Tiger Farms, Bakersfield CA

Restored to airworthy by Warbirds West Inc at Shafter airfield, near Bakersfield. Destefani was a warbird fighter enthusiast who owned several Mustangs and competed at air race competitions.
10.83
Registered N551D William G. Destafani, Bakersfield California
To avoid US certification problems for CAC Mustangs, aircraft identity quoted as P-51D 45-11489
5.10.83
Test flown Shafter CA, painted in spurious RAAF scheme as "A68-39 BF-D"

To further confuse its origins, new paperwork was submitted to FAA claiming a line-of-title ownership with a previous (unrelated) Mustang N551D: P-51D 44-14826
(44-14826 was a Haiti Air Force P-51D traded to Cavalier Aircraft, Florida and used as parts. Its fuselage was resold by Gordon Plaskett circa 1976 and its paperwork used)
11.83
Sold to Jack A. Erickson/ Erickson Air Crane, Medford Oregon

Jack Erickson was an Oregon timber logger who developed the use of helicopters to lift logs from mountain forests and US Forest Service contract work including fire bombing.  The Erickson Air Crane fleet of Sikorsky S-64 water tankers were deployed around the world for fire fighting.
As a personal project, he acquired and restored a large collection of former military aircraft.
97-14
Erickson sponsored the Tillamook Naval Air Station Air Museum in Oregon where his aircraft collection including N551D was displayed inside the large former Navy airship hangar. Repainted as USAAF "0-7"
9.07
Sold to Geoff Milne, Melbourne Vic.
Milne was a warbird enthusiast who acquired this Mustang because of its true identity as a RAAF aircraft
17.11.07
Milne was killed when flying his Cessna 337 from Moorabbin to Merimbula along the coastline, struck the sea near Wilsons Promontory Victoria.

N551D retained by Jack Erickson who had now retired and sold the helicopter business.
Ownership changed to Erickson Group Ltd, Medford Oregon, later P51 Mustang LLC, Beaverton Oregon
22.8.14
Opening ceremony for Jack Erickson's purpose-built Erickson Aircraft Collection, Madras Airport Oregon

The Erickson aircraft displayed at Tillamook were flown or moved by road to the new Madras museum

Currently displayed and flown from Erickson Aircraft Collection at Madras, Oregon


VH-BOY in original bright red and yellow paint scheme was in the static display at a May 1960 Bankstown
airshow. 
Alongside was a RAAF disposals Wirraway A20-664.                           Photo by John Hopton


Fawcett Aviation's VH-BOY at Bankstown 1962 with heightened canopy for the winch operator behind the pilot.
Photo by Eric Allen


Adelaide Airport March 1966, metallic with red trim and "Uncle Sam Top Hat' Yankee artwork on the nose.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Wearing a new paint scheme at Cessnock NSW in October 1969.                    Photo by John Hopton


Bankstown August 1975, adorned with advertising for Chieftan Flying School and Thompson Ford.
Photo by Mike Madden


And the other side was just as garish. Bankstown March 1975.                         Photo by Greg Banfield


Bankstown 5 June 1976 after aborted takeoff and runway overrun. Pilot unhurt, aircraft quickly repaired.
Photo by Peter Kelly


N551D after restoration by Bill Destefani at Shafter CA, painted in pseudo RAAF markings


N551D in 2013 in the Tillamaook Naval Air Station Museum, Oregon with Jack Erickson's aircraft collection.
Photo by Frank Dieterich


             CAC CA-17 Mustang Mk.20    c/n 1396                                                      A68-71, VH-VID
.46
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic

The first 80 CAC Mustangs (A68-1 to A68-80) were assembled at Fishermans Bend from 100 sets of semi-completed P-51D components supplied by North American Aviation, powered by pre-used Packard Merlins shipped from USA
10.4.46
First flight Fishemans Bend, pilot RAAF Flt Lt James E. Schofield on attachment to CAC as a test pilot
16.4.46
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-71. Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
13.5.46
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Deniliquin ex 1AD for storage under cover
15.8.46
Received No.78 Squadron, Williamtown ex CMU Deniliquin
27.4.48
Issued No.25 Squadron Pearce ex 78 Sqn
24.4.49
Damaged in landing accident at RAAF Pearce WA.
Ran off runway and struck a fence while in service with 25 Squadron based at Pearce
14.10.49
Approval to convert to Mustang Instructional Airframe No.14 to be held at Pearce. The Merlin engine to be  held as a spare motor.
24.10.52
Approval to issue to Perth Technical College. Struck-off RAAF charge
.52
Moved to Midland Technical School Aeronautical Annexe, Flauntleroy Avenue, Guildford, Perth.
Stored in open weather in compound at the Annexe, later with Wirraway A20-688. Used as an apprentice training aid in hydraulics, flight controls and assembly procedures. At various times the fuselage was dismantled fiom the wing centre section. Serious corrosion occurred due exposure to the weather.
.73
Donated to Air Force Association (WA Division) for their planned aviation museum at Bull Creek, Perth.
28.4.73
Moved by road by AFA Aviation Historical Group members from Aeronautical Annexe Perth Airport to storage under cover in disused shed at Saville's chicken farm near Jandakot
29.5.76
Moved to AFA Estate at Bull Creek where the AFAAHG had built a storage shed. Stored dismantled.
28.6.84
Acquired in a trade deal by AFAAHG member Derek A. Macphail, Perth 

Long-term airworthy restoration in a purpose-built workshop at owner's home at Nedlands, Perth.
4.12.01
Mustang project arrived by road from Perth at owner's new home near Gisborne Vic.
Restoration continued and many missing componeents were acquired
15.11.02
Registered VH-VID Derek A. Macphail, Gisborne Vic
14
Macphail offered the Mustang for sale as an airworthy project within Australia without success.
He had close contacts with Mustang operators and parts specialists in USA but was determined the aircraft remain in Australia.
1.7.16
Sold to Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne VIC
9.7.16
Moved Gisborne to Moorabbin Airport. To be completed to static display standard to join ANAM's collection of CAC aircraft


A68-71 at RAAF Williamtown NSW in 1947 while in service with 78 Squadron.   Richard Hourigan collection


A68-71 in the compound at Midland Technical School Aeronautical Annexe, Peerth Airport in April 1972.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


A68-71 on arrival at a Jandakot chicken farm 28 April 1973 where the sheds gave shelter to the early aircraft
collected for the Air Force Association (WA)'s proposed aviation museum.           Photo by Geoff Goodall


Mustang A68-71/VH-VID restoration project at Derek Macphail's home at Gisborne Vic in June 2016.
Photo by Derek Macphail


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1425                                                      A68-100, (VH-BOW), N51AB
.47
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
6.11.47
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-100.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
17.11.47
Received Aircraft Research & Development Unit, Laverton ex 1AD
21.10.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex ARDU for storage
1.12.49
Received 78 Wing, Williamtown ex Tocumwal
7.8.50
Received RAAF East Sale ex 78 Wing, via Tocumwal
17.3.52
Received 2AD Richmond ex East Sale
21.4.54
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 2AD for storage
12.1.55
Received RAAF East Sale ex Tocumwal
2.2.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale for storage pending disposal
4.4.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply

Dept of Supply sealed bid tender.
23.4.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 

Purchaser reportedly was R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.

Acquired by Aubrey J. R. Oates, Sydney NSW
.60
Sold to Doug Fawcett/ Fawcett Aviation, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
60
Work began at the Fawcett hangar to modify the aircraft for high altitude photographic survey work.
Peter Anderson's book "Mustangs of the RAAF and RNZAF" describes the modifications:
The fuselage fuel tank was removed and replaced with a position for a camera operator, oxygen equiment and vertical camera below and behind the pilot's seat. Repositioning of the oil and coolant radiators was necessitated, the coolant radiator being moved rearward in the vertical scoop and provided with an entirely new intake, while the oil coolers were removed from the fuselage and located in the starboard wing gun bay with an intake in the leading edge and a thermostatically controlled exhaust on the wing upper surface. The camera operator  was provided with viewing windiws, two either side of the fuselage and one in the now blanked-off ventral scoop intake.
25.8.61
Registration application to DCA.  DCA allocated registration VH-BOW while the issue of a CofA was considered by Central Office as an exemption to the policy against former military combat types
8.12.61
First test flight Bankstown

Peter Anderson continues: It became immediately apparent that the new oil cooling arangements did not perform as expected but after the installation of an additional air duct from the right side of the fuselage to the cooler, further flight trials commenced. It was reported the aircraft yawed easily to port. To eradicate this, spoilers were fitted first to the port then the starboard sides of the rudder without effect; after further tests a streamlined fairing was fitted over the camera operator's forward window and the problem was eliminated.
1.3.62
First trial climb at maximum all-up weight to high altitude. The results were disappointing, including high fuel burn to reach altitude and inadequate pilot visibility forward and downward to allow positioning for survey runs. Doug Fawcett decided to discontinue the project.

Application to DCA for issue of CofA was withdrawn. Aircraft had VH-BOW painted on fuselage
62-67
Parked at the Fawcett hangar Bankstown used as a parts source to maintain Fawcett's target-tug Mustangs VH-BOY and VH-BOZ
.67
Sold in derelict condition to Edward G. Fleming/ Skyservice Aviation Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW

Ed Fleming was a Canadian pilot and aviation engineer who had been involved in maintenance and ferrying of 30 RCAF disposals P-51Ds 1957-1962, most resold to USA. He migrated to Australia in 1965 and established Skyservice Aviation at Camden as a maintenance and sales business. Fleming acquired a number of Mustangs and other Australian retired miliutary types for export to North America, before he returned to Canada in 1973 taking Noorduyn Norseman VH-GSG with him.
.67
Moved by road to Camden where dismantled and crated. Shipped to North America
20.11.67
Bill of Sale to L. James Ausland, Seattle Washington
68-71
Rebuilt to airworthy at Seattle-Boeing Field
7.71
Registered N51AB L. James Ausland tradimg as Sports Air Inc, Seattle WA
Identity quoted as P-51D 44-14777
20.2.74
Bill of Sale to Joe Arnold, Greenville Mississippi
25.8.75
Bill of Sale to Robby R. Jones, Minter City Mississippi 
.90
Sold to Norman Lewis/ Lewis Aviation/ Kentucky Aviation Museum, Louisville Kentucky
3.2.00
Sold to Brian Adams/ Inpatient Dental Service Inc, Ashland Oregon 
31.10.06
Sold to Steve J. Craig Farms LLC, Lawrence Kansas
8.10.14
Sold to US trustee to retain N registration for overseas operator
10.14
Dismantled at Van Nuys California for shipping to Germany

Assembled at Bremgarten, Germany. Flies in Germany as N51AB


A68-100 in RAAF markings at Fawcett Aviation, Bankstown 1960.        Photo: John Hopton Collection


VH-BOW as a stripped airframe standing on flat tyres at Bankstown April 1966. Note the windows for the
camera operator position below and behind the pilot.                                     Photo by Geoff Goodall


N51AB during the 1970s in its first US paint scheme, green and white


N51AB "Miss Escort" at Lakeland FL in April 1992.                                                Photo by Derek Heley


N51AB "Flying Dutchman"in MAy 2004.                          Photo by Curtis Fowles/ Mustangsmustangs.com


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1429                                                      A68-104, (VH-AGV), VH-BOB

Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
19.11.47
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-104.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
9.12.47
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for storage under cover
6.10.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
27.9.50
Received Base Squadron, RAAF East Sale ex Tocumwal
14.12.55
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale for storage pending disposal
21.11.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
28.4.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 
4.58
Purchaser reportedly was Taren Point Non-Ferrous Metals P/L, Sydney

Acquired by Aubrey J. R. Oates, Sydney NSW
62
Acquired with A68-187 by Adastra Aerial Surveys c/- Sepal Pty Ltd, Sydney Airport NSW

Adastra Aerial Surveys operated Lockheed Hudsons, Avro Ansons, a DC-3, Catalina and Percival Prince on aerial photographic mapping and mineral survey.  Adastra acquired Mustangs A68-104 and A68-187 intending to use them for high altitude photographic mapping between 25,000 ft to 38,000 feet.
DCA had indicated CofAs would be considered because of their specific use in operations in the national interest for which other tyes were not available.
14.3.62
Applications for CofA and Registration were submitted to DCA by Sepal Pty Ltd, Sydney. 
DCA allocated registration VH-AGV for test flying. No Certificate of Registration issued.

Survey modifications to A68-104 were not carried out. Attempted conversion of A68-187 to install a camera operator position in the fuselage had been discontinued when it was considered not operationally suitable.

(Whether there was any consultation with Fawcett Aviation at Bankstown regarding their camera operator modification to A68-100 a year earlier is not known.)
62-64
Parked outside Adastra hangar at Sydney Airport, on grass with retired Avro Ansons
.64
Puchased by Dr. Tony Fisher, Sydney NSW.
Moved to Flight Facilities hangar where work was carried out to make the Mustang airworthy for inspection for a DCA ferry permit.
2.8.64
A68-104 departed Sydney Airport for Jerilderie NSW flown by East West Airlines Captain F. Chris Braund, who had earlier owned Mustang VH-FCB.
A68-104's RAAF markings had been removed and it used radio callsign "NA68".
2.8.64
In fact overnighted at Temora NSW
64-73
Based on 5,000 acre farming property Canarney, Jerildie NSW owned by Fisher. His other Mustang A68-193 was based here, along with his Ryan STM plus two other Ryans.  A purpose-built hangar was erected for the Mustangs, which were maintained by volunteer RAAF ground engineers.

A68-104 & -193 were flown from Jerilderie as far as Swan Hill where Fisher owned another property. One spent a period based on Edgar Pickles' farm at Barham NSW
10.70
Purchased by Robert L. Eastgate, Melbourne Vic

Extensive maintenance at Jerilderie to prepare the aircraft for a DCA ferry permit to Melbourne
26.3.73
Flown Jerilderie-Essendon Airport, Melbourne, pilot Jack McDonald using tradeplate callsign "PTQ"
26.2.76
Test flight Essendon after complete overhaul. Painted as RAAF "A68-104"
26.2.76
Registered VH-BOB Robert L. Eastgate, Melbourne Vic

Based at RAAF Point Cook, flown extensively, a second seat was installed for passenger rides
5.4.08
Damaged in emergency landing on grass Point Cook with undercariage locked up, pilot John Dorward

Long-term repair and restoration at several locations around Melbourne

Currently nearing completion at Essendon Airport


A68-104 in RAAF markings parked at Bankstown in 1960.                             Richard Hourigan collection


Sydney Airport January 1964, at the Adastra Aerial Surveys hangar out on the grass with retired Ansons
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Tony Fisher's Mustangs A68-104 and -193 flew without markings from a farm at Jerilderie NSW from 1964.
This photo purports to show A68-104 visiting Griffith NSW, with a Griffith Aero Club instructor in the cockpit.
Photo: Griffith Aero Club


Essendon March 1976 in immaculation condition after certification as VH-BOB.       Photo by Mike Madden


Bob Eastgate


Pleasing view from a formating B-25 Mitchell in the 1980s glory days of the Australian warbird movement.
VH-BOB flown by Jack McDonald, with Jeff Trappett in his VH-AGJ A68-118 behind


             CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1430                                                      A68-105, VH-JUC
.47
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
21.11.47
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-105.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
10.12.47
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for storage under cover
11.11.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
27.9.50
Received Base Squadron RAAF East Sale ex Tocumwal
14.12.55
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale for storage pending disposal
21.11.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
.57
Sold by Department of Supply to R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.
23.4.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 
4.58
Purchaser was R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.
8.60
Acquired from R.H.Grant at Tocumwal by Peter Frearson/ Fleetwings Garage, Laverton Vic
12.60
Moved by road from Tocumwal to Laverton where it was assembled at his Fleetwings garage as an advertising "eye-catcher" for passing motorists on the main road Melbourne-Geelong.
11.64
Purchased from Frearson by Richard E. Hourigan, Melbourne Vic
Richard was an airline ground engineer who was a founding member of the Moorabbin Air Museum. He  loaned the Mustang to the museum at Moorabbin Airport
1.65
Moved by road from Laverton to Moorabbin Airport.
65-71
Displayed as A68-105 at Moorabbin Air Museum
4.71
A68-105 was removed from Moorabbin Air Museum by owner Dick Hourigan following a policy dispute with the museum committee. Moved by truck to Mildura Vic where stored dismantled under tarpaulins in the Warbirds Aviation Museum compound on Mildura Airport.
2.77
Moved by road from Mildura to Fishermans Bend on loan by Hourigan to CAC. Restored by CAC for display at CAC 40th Anniverary ceremonies.
11.77
Moved from Fishermans Bend to RAAF Point Cook, loaned by Hourigan to RAAF Museum
77-90
Displayed at RAAF Museum, Point Cook Vic. Fitted with drop tanks and replica rockets
24.3.90
Moved by road from Point Cook to Tyabb Airport Vic. Dick Hourigan and Judy Pay formed a partnership High Performance Aviation Pty Ltd, Tyabb to restore A68-105 to airworthy
12.4.96
Registered VH-JUC High Performance Aviation Pty Ltd, Tyabb Vic

This registration was chosen because A68-105's RAAF radio callsign had been "JUC".
18.12.98
First test flight Tyabb after 8 year restoration. Painted in RAF camouflage as "KH677 code CV-P" as operated by RAAF 3 Squadron in the Mediterranean theatre

Current


A68-105 "Fleet Wings" at the Fleet Wings Garage, Laverton Vic in January 1964.      Photo by Geoff Goodall


Reassembled at Moorabbin Airport under the pine trees in February 1965, before moving to the museum.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


A68-105 stored dismantled under tarpaulins at Warbirds Aviation Museum, Mildura Vic in June 1972.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Restored to airworthy as VH-JUC, seen in action at Tyabb Vic in March 2016.         Photo by Ian McDonell


           CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1432                                                      A68-107, VH-AUB
.47
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
4.12.47
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-107.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
16.12.47
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for storage under cover
14.10.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
22.9.50
Received Base Squadron, RAAF East Sale ex Tocumwal
25.11.52
Port mainplane damaged during rocket firing
27.3.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale, for storage pending disposal
21.11.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
24.5.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 

Purchaser was Aubrey J. R. Oates, Sydney NSW

Aubrey "Titus" Oates DFC was a prewar civil pilot who enlisted in RAAF in 1940 and after intsructor duties saw combat in New Guinea with 6 Squdron on Beauforts. Promoted to rank of Squadron Leader he was discharged in November 1944 to join DeHavilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney as Mosquito production test pilot. His postwar life was as a hotelier with properties in Bathurst and Sydney, aviation adventurer and aircraft salesman. He entered ex RAAF Mosquito VH-KLG in the 1953 London-Christchurch Air Race but was forced to ditch in a swamp in Burma enroute Sydney to London.
Oates was a feelance agricultural crop spraying pilot who flew for various companies, his blue Cadillac attracting much attention in country towns. In 1957 he and James "Wac"Whiteman ferried two EP-9 agricultural aircraft from England to Sydney.

In 1958 Oates acquired 5 Mustangs in good condition ex storage at RAAF Tocumwal. His intentions are not known but he was aware of the DCA policy not to issue CofAs to former military combat types.
4.58
Civil Registration application submitted to DCA by Oates, requesting registration VH-AUB.
No record has been found of his submission of reasons for exemption from the DCA combat aircraft policy, but anecdotal reports indicate a senior federal government minister lobbied the Department on his behalf
5.9.58
Registered VH-AUB Aubrey J. R. Oates, Bathurst NSW
Based Bathurst, painted pillar box red all over with white registration markings, Australian flag on tail

After 1960 VH-AUB was flown infrequently. Oates was a contract pilot for Fawcett Aviation's target tug Mustangs VH-BOY and VH-BOZ.  Oates ferried VH-AUB to Civil Flying Services at Moorabbin in February 1962 for minor maintenance then left it on their ramp for 14 months. 
29.4.63
Test flown Moorabbin by Oates who then flew it same day to Bankstown Airport, Sydney
This appears to have been its last flight while owned by Oates.
63-66
Hangared at Bankstown
1.3.66
Struck-off Civil Register
.66
Sold to Ewan McKay, "Rosedale" Station, Jericho Qld
4.66
Dismantled and moved by road from Bankstown to McKay's property "Rosedale" via Jericho Qld

Reassembled at "Rosedale", Merlin run up occasionally
.78
Sold to Colin Pay/ Pay's Air Service Pty Ltd, Scone NSW
Col Pay began his own aerial agricultural business with Brian Williamson at Narromine NSW in 1958, moving to Scone where Pay's Air Service grew to a major agricultural operation, with spraying contracts in SE Asia. Col had earlier owned A68-175 and became a leading warbird restorer.

Maintenance at "Rosedale" by Pay's Air Service engineers to make the aircraft airworthy
13.9.79
Ferried Jericho Qld to Scone NSW, for further maintenance to prepare for certification

Col Pay later wrote in AOPA magazine Sept-Oct 2007: 
"Ewan McKay had it at Rosedale Station at Jericho. In 1978 I heard somebody had been up there trying to buy it and he would not sell. I went up to see him and he said he wanted to keep it. He had no show of getting it flying so I said how about I take it over, get it airworthy and going and we go halves in it. That is what happened. I went up with a crew and we pulled the radiator and coolant pipes out of it and all the things we could think about that might need doing for the ferry. Brought them back to Scone and after about 9 months had it all re-cored and went back up and put it together. There was rust coming out of the exhausts when we started it. We got it going but could not get the lights to work on the undercarriage. They just stayed red the whole time. We could do a retraction tests but we said "Bugger it, they will self-fall anyway and go down themselves".

I sent the Cessna 310 off at Jericho to get to 7500 feet before I took off. I met them and we went down to Cunamulla and landed. We found a hydraulic leak out of the pump. I topped up the fuel and filled up the hydraulic oil. On takeoff I had just pulled the gear lever up and there was a big bang and all the noise stopped. I thought “Christ”. Next thing there were another couple of bangs and the engine picked up and away we went. I had a portable radio so I climbed to 7500 over Cunamulla, called the 310 up and said I was not hanging around because I was at low power it had fouled the plugs. So I roared off. They wanted me to stop at Narromine. I left it there for two weeks while they had a bit of an airshow. Then I brought it back to Scone and we pulled it to bits and put a new engine in it.
About four years later Ewan phoned and asked if I wanted to buy his half. I said “You name your price and I will say yes or no”. He did and I said “yes”. 
1.9.80
Restored to Civil Register VH-AUB: Pay's Air Service Pty Ltd, Scone NSW
13.9.80
Test flight Scone after restoration, painted as RAAF "A68-107"

Flown extensively by Col Pay and later his son Ross
2.6.00
Change of ownership: Ross Pay, Moobi NSW

Currently airworthy, based Scone NSW


Aubrey "Titus" Oates with his Mustang VH-AUB in 1959


VH-AUB on the Civil Flying Service ramp at Moorabbin in January 1963 with Mustang VH-FCB behind.
Photo by Rod Adam


Col Pay taxies VH-AUB at an airshow at Ballarat Vic in Februay 1985.                   Photo by Geoff Goodall


Ross Pay gets airborne at Scone in March 2018.                       Photo by Jayden Laing, via Ian McDonell


             CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1438                                             A68-113, (VH-JWB), VH-UWB, G-ARUK
.48
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
1.4.48
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-113.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
12.4.48
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for storage under cover
10.9.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
1.12.49
Received No.78 Wing, Williamtown ex Tocumwal
12.7.50
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 78 Wing
9.2.53
Received 1AD Laverton ex Tocumwal for target towing mods
14.5.53
Received No.10 Squadron Townsville ex 1AD
21.11.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 10 Sqn, for storage pending disposal
21.11.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
23.8.57
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 

Purchaser was John W Brookes, Melbourne Vic
.57
Ferried Tocumwal-Moorabbin Airport for inspection for civil certification
2.58
Civil Registration application submittrd to DCA. Registration VH-JWB requested
2.58
DCA Vic/Tas Region allocated VH-JWB while Central Office considering the reasons offered for exemption from the DCA combat aircraft policy

VH-JWB was painted on the aircraft at Moorabbin
2.58
DCA wrote to Brookes advising that regretfully VH-JWB had been allocated in error because the VH-J series was unavailable for civil aircraft as it was reserved for Australian military aircraft use as radio callsigns. VH-UWB was suggested to reduce the amount of repaiting required.
13.2.58
Registered VH-UWB John W. Brookes/ Brookes Aviation Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Vic

Flown extensively from Moorabbin. Brookes Aviation built a new hangar at the pine tree grove and became a significant maintenance and sales business, later starting Civil Flying School. In 1962 racing car driver and motor dealer Bib Stillwell purchased Brookes Aviation which was renamed Civil Flying Services Pty Ltd.
30.7.61
Immediately after takeoff at Moorabbin the cockpit canopy unlocked at the rear attachment, slid back and struck the pilot's head. He was temporarily blinded by dust blown up in the cockpit and declared an emergency. The canopy was jettisoned during a low pass across the airfield and the aircraft landed safely.
.62
Sold to Scottish racing car driver Ron Flockhart for a speed record attempt Sydney-London, to replace  Mustang G-ARKD (ex A68-5) damaged at Athens during his first attempt. His sponsor for the second attempt was  a British firmAREF Ltd.
5.4.62
Registered G-ARUK AREF Ltd, Ascot, Berkshire

Prepared for the speed record flight by Brookes Aviation at Moorabbin. Repainted red and white
12.4.62
Destroyed, dived from low cloud base into the ground at Kalista VIC. Flockhart killed.  
He had departed Moorabbin 5 minutes earlier on a VFR flight to Sydney to commence the record attempt but flew into low cloud over the Dandenong Ranges and suffered disorientation.


A68-113 on arrival Moorabbin from Tocumwal in 1957, RAAF roundels painted out, 10 Sqn badge retained.
Photo by Alan Carter, via John Hopton collection


VH-UWB at Moorabbin in 1958.                                                                    Photo by Neil Follett


VH-UWB still in basic RAAF markings Moorabbin 1958.                                 Dick Hourigan collection


Moorabbin 30 July 1961. VH-UWB taxying in after the canopy was jettioned during a test flight while the
aircraft was partially repainted into a new yellow scheme.                                    Photo by Neil Follett


In its striking new paint scheme, VH-UWB was the star of an airshow at Ballarat Vic in November 1961.
John Hopton collection


Ron Flockhart with G-ARUK at Moorabbin in April 1962, a few days before his fateful departure.
John Hopton Collection



             CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1443                                             A68-118,  VH-WAS, VH-AGJ
.48
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
10.5.48
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-118.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
28.5.48
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for storage under cover
22.9.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
11.8.49
Received No.78 Wing, Williamtown ex Tocumwal
18.5.50
Major damage in accident
28.7.50
Received CAC Fishermans Bend by road transport ex 78 Wing
15.4.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CAC for storage
16.2.53
Received Base Squadron, RAAF East Sale ex Tocumwal
20.7.54
Forced landing on aerodrome East Sale due overheating engine
14.12.55
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale, for storage pending disposal
21.11.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
28.4.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 

Purchaser was Wilmore Aviation Services Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
This company was formed after WWII to deal in military disposals aircraft, engines and parts including Hudsons, Mosquitos, Mustangs (see A68-39). A partner was veteran Sydney commercial pilot Joe Palmer.
In April 1958 WAS also purchased A68-195 and A68-197 ex 3AD storage at Archerfield Qld, both were stripped for parts.

A68-118 ferried Tocumwal-Moorabbin by Joe Palmer
7.8.59
Registered VH-WAS Wilmore Aviation Services Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic/
Flown by Joe Palmer, based at Sydney-Bankstown
6.8.60
Last flight while owned Wilmore Aviation Services:
Adelaide Airport to Bankstown, pilot Joe Palmer. Inbound to Bankstown the engine overheated and the glycol coolant boiled, Palmer declared an emergency. Landed safely at Bankstown but the Merlin engine required a rebuild.
8.60-73
VH-WAS retired at Bankstown.  By 1967 parked in the open on flat tyres, weathered paintwork
7.73-78
Loned to Camden Museum of Aviation, Camden Airport NSW:               
7.7.73
Moved by road from Bankstown to Camden, where restored for display as RAAF "A68-118"
.78
Sold by Joe Palmer to Sqn Ldr Jeff Trappett, Morwell Vic

Dismantled at Camden by a team from Latrobe Valley Aviation Service who flew to Camden in Cessna 180 VH-BVQ
2.1.79
Moved by road from Camden to Latrobe Valley Airport Vic, where restored to airworthy, completed with polished metal finish as RAAF "A68-118"
7.4.81
Registered VH-AGJ Jeffrey P. Trappett, Morwell Vic
19.4.81
First flight Latrobe Valley Vic after restoration

Flown extensively by Jeff Trappett as "A68-118" named Eclat

Current


A68-118 at a Bankstown airshow circa 1950.                                                John Hopton Collection


A68-118 at Moorabbin in 1958 after being ferried from Tocumwal.                      John Hopton Collection


Joe Palmer visited Adelaide Airport in VH-WAS during August 1960.                    Photo by Rod Adam


Retired at Bankstown in July 1967.                                                        Photo by Geoff Goodall


Now registered VH-AGJ after restoration by Jeff Trappett, seen taxying at Latrobe Valley Vic March 1983.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Jeff Trappett in VH-AGJ at Mangalore Vic in April 1985.                                Photo by Geoff Goodall


           CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21    c/n 1444                                             A68-119,  (N65119), VH-IVI
48
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
11.6.48
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-119.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
24.6.48
Received Care & Maintenance Unit Benalla ex 1AD for storage under cover
23.9.48
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex CMU Benalla for storage
11.8.49
Received No.78 Wing, Williamtown ex Tocumwal
13.7.50
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 78 Wing for storage
7.8.50
Received Base Squadron, RAAF East Sale ex Tocumwal
2.2.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale, for storage pending disposal
21.11.56
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
.57
Sold by tender to R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.
23.4.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal. 

Grants Trading Co stored A68-119 and A68-193 in disused RAAF hangars at Tocumwal in case of sale offers for complete aircraft. 
.63
Sold by R.H.Grant to Dr. Ralph Capponi and Sqn Ldr Tony Svensson, Melbourne.
Dr. Capponi was a private pilot and Svenson was a RAF officer on exchange duties with RAAF

Restored to airworthy condition in the open at Tocumwal
15.10.64
Ferried from Tocumwal to Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, still in RAAF markings
12.64
Svensson sold his half share to Capponi when he was prematurely returned to UK because of injuries sustained in an emergency ejection from RAAF Mirage A3-1near Avalon Vic 7.12.64
.65
Civil Registration Application: Dr. Ralph H. Capponi, Apollo Bay Vic, later Kilmore Vic

DCA refused civil certification. As a compromise Capponi was initially allowed to fly his Mustang on a Permit To Fly basis, requiring Departmental pre-approval for each flight
21.7.65
DCA issued an Export CofA, based on Capponi indicating he had an overseas buyer
7.9.65
Capponi flew A68-119 Moorabbin-Perth while working for Royal Flying Doctor Service (WA Section)
13.3.66
A68-119 parked at Perth Airport until return flight to Melbourne 13.3.66 by Capponi
3.66
DCA refused any further Permits to Fly, aircraft retired on the grass at Moorabbin
11.67
Sold to Edward G.Fleming/ Skyservice Aviation, Camden Airport NSW

Ed Fleming was a Canadian pilot and aviation engineer who had been involved in maintenance and ferrying of 30 RCAF disposals P-51Ds 1957-1962, most resold to USA. He migrated to Australia in 1965 and established Skyservice Aviation at Camden as a maintenance and sales business. Fleming acquired a number of Mustangs and other Australian retired miliutary types for export to North America, before he returned to Canada in 1973 taking Noorduyn Norseman VH-GSG with him.

Onsold by Ed Fleming to Stanley Booker/ Stan's Airplane Sales, Fresno California
Booker was in Australia at that time preparing RAAF Dakotas purchased at Adelaide for ferrying to Indonesia. He also acquired the six RAAF Mustangs at the Emu SA atomic test site (see A68-1)
67
US Registration application: Stanley Booker/ Stan Air Inc, Fresno California
Quoted identity "North American P-51C, serial number CA3M-119"
Booker requested registration N65119 which was allocated (compiler's note: why not N68119?)
27.11.67
Fleming departed Moorabbin for Camden. DCA ferry permit issued to facilitate export to USA
Emergency landing at Nowra Naval Air Station NSW enroute to Camden due engine failure

Parked in the open at Nowra while arrangements made to repair the Merlin

Sale to Stan Booker cancelled due to the aircraft being u/s and not packed and shipped
2.6.69
Purchased by Langdon Badger, Adelaide SA on a "as is where is" basis at Nowra.
Badger supplied a replacement Merlin which Ed Fleming installed and ferried the aircraft to Camden where overhaul for Australian certification commenced at his Skyservice Aviation.

Civil Registration Application by Langdon Badger.
He advised DCA that he would mount a legal challenge to their policy refusing ex-combat type aircraft to fly as civil aircraft. DCA approved his application.
20.6.69
Registered VH-IVI  Langdon Badger Furnishings Pty Ltd, Adelaide SA
17.8.69
Langdon Badger delivered VH-IVI to his home base Parafield Airport, Adelaide. It had been at Moorabbin for radio work with Civil Flying Services after test flying at Camden.
A second seat had been installed behind pilot. Aircraft painted all yellow to make it visible to other aircraft.

Langdon later wrote: "I did over 102 wonderful hours flying IVI, but DCA had made it a requirement that only a Rolls Royce approved engineer could do the 50 or 100 hourly or 12 monthly overhauls. So first I took IVI to Camden, came home by airline, then returned to find Ed Fleming had put on about 12 hours testing her - in reality taking his friends for flights and charging me the 60 gallons of fuel per hour. Next I went to Civil Flying Services at Moorabbin and they were worse, putting on about 20 hours including an aerobatic display at a Ballarat airshow, all at my expense. This took the pleasure away."
1.9.70
Change of ownership: Raymond J. Whitbread, Sydney NSW
1.9.70
Ferried Parafield-Bankstown by Whitbread

Repainted cream and blue, "Mustang P-51D R.J.Whitbread Motors Pty Ltd, Kogarah"on the tailplane
11.6.73
Crashed destroyed near Windsor NSW. Ray Whitbread was killed.
He was engaged in aerobatic practice when he lost control of the aircraft, jettisoning the canopy and unclipping his seat belt to bale out, but did not have time.


A68-119 stored by R.H.Grant Trading Co in a Tocumwal wartime hangar in January 1963 among dismantled
jet engines from scrspped RAAF Meteiors and Vampires.                                   Photo by Richard Hourigan


Tocumwal October 1963 now owned by Messrs Capponi and Svensson, work commenced to make her airworthy
Photo: John Hopton Collection


Moorabbin July 1967, the long grass confirming the aircraft had ceased flying.       Photo by Geoff Goodall


Langdon Badger shuts down on arrival at Parafield on VH-IVI's delivery flight on 17 August 1969.     
Photo by Geoff Goodall



VH-IVI at Hamilton Vic for an airshow in March 1970.                             Photo by Mike Madden


Ray Whitbread in VH-IVI at Moorabbin for an airshow display in December 1970.       Photo by John Hopton


              CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.23    c/n 1462                                              A68-137,  (VH-PPV)
48
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
26.11.48
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-137.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
11.3.49
Issued to CAC Fishermans Bend ex 1AD for instrumentation
2.5.49
Received Aircraft  Research & Development Unit, Laverton ex CAC
23.10.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex ARDU for storage
7.5.52
Receievd No.24 Squadron Mallala ex Tocumwal
14.4.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 24 Sqn Mallala, for storage pending disposal
56-60 Stored under cover at RAAF Tocumwal
16.2.60
Free transfer to Aeronautical Research Laboratories with installed Merlin
.60
Moved by road from Tocumwal to Aeronautical Research Laboratories, Tottenham Vic

(ARL had earlier received a number of Mustang mainplanes for metal fatigue research)
9.62
A68-137 was held at ARL workshop at RAAF Laverton, rear fuselage dismantled

After use by ARL, A68-137 as moved to nearby RAAF Point Cook fire crew practice ground.
Dumped with retired Meteors waiting to be burnt for training exercises.

Acquired by the embryo RAAF Museum, Point Cook as a parts source for their restoration of A68-170
74
RAAF Museum member Vic Perry who was a serving RAAF aircraft engineer at Point Cook took on the stripped airframe as a personal restoration project
79
Perry believed A68-137 had been gifted to him in return for the work he had done for RAAF Museum.
When he was transferred to Townsville as Engineering Officer with 35 Sqn, the museum arranged for A68-137 to be transported by RAAF C-130 to Townsville so he could continue its restoration for display. Perry's intention was an airworthy restoration.
8.2.79
Airfreighted by RAAF C-130H Hercules from Point Cook to RAAF Townsville.

Restoration continued in RAAF hangars at Townsville, painted to represent a RAF Mustang operated by RAAF 3 Squadron in the Mediterranean Theatre "KH791/CV-P"
.79
Civil Registration reserved VH-PPV: Vic Perry, RAAF Townsville Qld
97
RAAF Museum reclaimed the Mustang
.97
Airfreighted from Townsville to RAAF Museum, RAAF Point Cook Vic

Static display at the museum, repainted as 3 Squadron "KH677/CV-P"

Current


A68-137 at RAAF Mallala SA September 1952 based there with No.24 Squadron.   Photo by John M. Smith


Aeronautical Research Laboratories hangar at Avalon Vic, February 1961.        Photo by Richard Hourigan


A68-137 had been moved to RAAF Laverton Vic by September 1962.                Photo by Richard Hourigan


A68-137 at RAAF Townsville Qld in 1980s, restored by Vic Perry for RAAF Museum.  Keith Gaff collection


A68-137 outside the RAAF Museum, Point Cook in 2012 painted to represent No.3 Squadron KH677/CV-P


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.23    c/n 1495                                                         A68-170,  VH-SVU
11.49
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
23.2.50
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-170.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
27.2.50
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
21.7.50
Issued RAAF Canberra ex Tocumwal
3.8.50
Received 78 Wing Williamtown ex Canberra. Ferried Canberra-Schofields 31.7.50
4.4.52
Allotted No.2 Operational Training Unit Williamtown ex 78 Wing
30.9.54
Belly landing on runway Williamtown due engine failure
14.3.56
Received 3AD Storage Archerfield Qld ex 2OTU Williamtown, for storage pending disposal
7.7.59
Allotted to Air Training Corps Flight Toowoomba at No.7 Stores Depot, Toowoomba Qld.
3AD to convert to Mustang Instructional Airframe No.13 fitted with Instructional Merlin engine
10.7.59
Issued ex 3AD to ATC Flight, 7SD Toowoomba
59-70
Held in a compound at RAAF No.7 Stores Depot Toowoomba
1.70
Allotted to RAAF Museum, RAAF Point Cook Vic
4.8.70
Arrived dismantled at Point Cook from Toowoomba, restored to ground taxy status, named Duffy's Delight
89-99
Extended overhaul to airworthy condition at Point Cook
28.8.95
Registered VH-SVU RAAF Museum, RAAF Point Cook Vic
17.2.99
First fight Point Cook after overhaul, painted as RAAF 77 Squadron P-51D "A68-750 "AM-G"
7.8.05
Last flying display at Point Cook. RAAF Museum decision to discontinue flying operations of their heavy tailwheel types following Harvard/Texan accidents

Static display in RAAF Museum, Point Cook as "A68-750 "AM-G"

Current


A68-170 at RAAF No.7 Stores Depot Toowooomba Qld in January 1964.          Photo by Richard Hourigan


Preparing for a ground run at Point Cook, mid 1970s.        Photo by Jack Gillies via Maurice Austin collection


A68-170 in a row of RAAF Museum aircraft at Point Cook 1978.                                Photo by John Hopton


A68-170 as VH-SVU painted as a 77 Squadron P-51D based in Japan 1947.          Photo by Ian McDonell


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.23    c/n 1500                      A68-175,  (CF-WWH), (N5789), N20JS, N7496W, N51DT
50
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
12.4.50
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-175.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
21.7.50
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
18.11.52
Received No.23 Squadron Archerfield ex Tocumwal
17.11.53
Minor damage, heavy landing Archerfield
1.3.55
Forced landing due glycol coolant pipe failure, nil airframe damage
23.8.55
Allotted 3AD ex 23 Sqn
28.11.55
Received Base Squadron East Sale ex 3AD
13.2.57
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex East Sale, for storage pending disposal
13.8.58
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
17.12.58
Sold by tender to R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.
23.1.59
Grants Trading sold the aircraft to Colin Pay, Narromine NSW
Col Pay was a partner in aerial agricultural business Pay & Williamson Pty Ltd, Narromine.

Col Pay later wrote:  “The RAAF was still at Tocumwal at that time so they serviced the Mustang for me. Jack McDonald flew it back to Narromine. I did my conversioon on it with Jack. I read the book and he said “Away you go”. And that was it.  It was a beaut aeroplane.”

Flown at Narromine Aerodrome for several years
62-65
By 1962 it was parked outside the Pay & Williamson hangar at Narromine with flat tyres. Unmoved for the next three years, still in original RAAF markings
.65
Sold to Edward G. Fleming/ Skyservice Aviation, Camden Airport NSW

Ed Fleming was a Canadian pilot and aviation engineer who had been involved in maintenance and ferrying of 30 RCAF disposals P-51Ds 1957-1962, most resold to USA. He migrated to Australia in 1965 and established Skyservice Aviation at Camden as a maintenance and sales business. Fleming acquired a number of Mustangs and other Australian retired miliutary types for export to North America, before he returned to Canada in 1973 taking Noorduyn Norseman VH-GSG with him.
.65
Dismantled at Narromine and moved by road to Camden where stored dismantled in Skyservice hangar
1.67
Assembled and painted with Skyservice Aviation advertising for display at an aviation promotion on the roof top car park at Roselands Shopping Centre, Sydney.
Also displayed were Spitfire MV154, Nakajima Oscar (both Sid Marshall, Bankstown), Percival Proctor VH-BCM (Camden Museum of Aviation), DH.60 Moth VH-ULM, Victa Gyroplane VH-MVB and new Piper Cherokee and Pawnee.
3.67
A68-175 and VH-FCB noted in the Skyservice hangar at Camden, both crated ready for shipping

Shipped to Canada, sold to Robert Diemert, Carman Manitoba
1.5.67
On-sold by Diemert to John C. Kehler, Plumcoulee, Manitoba
4.10.67
Canadian registration CF-WWH allocated to John Kehler

Canadian civil overhaul by Bob Diemert in his approved workshop oat his farm at Caman MAN.
Diemert modified the cockpit area for pilot and three passenger seats, with an Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck jet canopy
71
Test flown at Carman MAN.
5.71
Sold to Roslyn Pines Inc, Roslyn Heights New York
5.71
Ferry permit from Carman MAN to New York, pilot Diemert.
Canadian registration was an allocation only, no Certificate of Registration was issued
5.71
US Registration application: Roslyn Pines Inc, Roslyn Heights New York
Registration N5789 allocated, no CofR. Identity quoted as "P-51D A68-175"
72
Registered N64824 Frank Martucci & Frank Guzman/ Roslyn Pines Inc, Roslyn Heights New York
31.1.73
Ownership changed to Frank Guzman, West Babylon New York
8.11.73
Ownership changed to John P. Silberman, Sherborn Massachusetts

Dismantled for complete rebuild back to stock P-51D standard.
Paperwork shuffle submitted to FAA to allow:
- A68-175's airframe to adopt the identity of P-51D 44-74950 which as N511D crashed near Palmdale CA when the left wing separated during aerobatics 25 August 1971. Reported as "destroyed", the wreck was acquired by John Silberman.

- identity "N64824 P-51D A68-175" used by a composite Mustang rebuild project at Shafter California based on Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) airframe sections and a stripped hulk salvaged from an Illinois scrapyard. First flown Shafter May 1982 as N64824 owned by Art and Dan Vance.
FAA was later supplied with documentation which resulted in the idenitty of N64824 being changed to 44-74389 (ex N6346T, RCAF 9580) which is believed to be the hulk in the scrapyard.
Close inspection of N64824 in 2001 confirms it is not a CAC airframe and owners say it is ex RCAF.

(5.8.75 N64824 ownership changed to Arthur S. Vance, Santa Rosa California )
10.2.75
A68-175 "becomes" N20JS John P. Silberman, Sherborn Massachusetts & Key West, Florida
Identity quoted on US Civil Register: P-51D 44-74950
28.8.84
Change of ownership and registration N7496W Selby R. Burch, Winter Garden Florida
.93
Sold by Burch to Dick Thurman/ RDT Aviation Corp, Louisville Kentucky
22.5.95
Reregistered N51DT Dick Thurman/ Vintage War Birds Inc, Louisville Kentucky
25.5.99
Change of ownership: Thomas Blair/ Spitfire USA Ltd, Potomac MD & Kissimmee FL
22.11.13
Change of ownership: James Goodwin/ Open Cockpit LLC, Santa Fe New Mexico
14.6.16
Change of ownership: Jim Martin/ Merlin Magic LLC, Wilmington Delaware

Current


Narromine NSW 1962 parked on flat tyres.                                                    Photo by Richard Hourigan


Narromine March 1963, retired and parked in high grass.                                                 Photo by Bob Neate


A68-175 at an aviation display on the roof-top car park at Roselands Shopping Centre, Sydney January 1967


CF-WWH four-seater with CF-100 Canuck canopy, named "Miss Behave".     Photo via Derek Macphail


N64824 with Canuck canopy, paint stripped in 1972.                                          Photo by Kevin Stubing


N7496W at Orlando, Florida in November 1989.                                                       Photo by Caz Caswell


N51DT "Slender Tender and Tall" at Kissimmee Florida September 2007.       Photo by Robert Bourlier


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.22    c/n 1512     A68-187,  (VH-AGJ), (VH-FHT), (VH-UFO), N919WJ, N151SU, N50FS
50
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
13.10.50
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-187.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
30.10.50
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
13.2.51
Received No.3 Squadron Canberra ex Tocumwal
27.10.52
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 3 Sqn for storage
9.3.53
Receievd No.21 Squadron Laverton ex Tocumwal
7.1.54
Received ARDU Trials Flight, Mallala ex 21 Sqn.
Unit renamed Air Trials Unit with detachments at Mallala, Edinburgh and Woomera
27.11.56
Issued RAAF Tocumwal ex Air Trials Unit RAAF Edinbugh, for storage pending disposal
15.11.57
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
28.4.58
Last entry on RAAF airframe record card: Collected by purchaser ex RAAF Tocumwal

Purchaser reportedly was Taren Point Non-Ferrous Metals P/L, Sydney

Acquired by Aubrey J. R. Oates, Sydney NSW
.60
Acquired with A68-104 by Adastra Aerial Surveys c/- Sepal Pty Ltd, Sydney Airport NSW

Adastra operated Lockheed Hudsons, Avro Ansons, a DC-3, Catalina and Percival Prince on aerial photographic mapping and mineral survey.  Adastra acquired Mustangs A68-104 and A68-187 intending to use them for high altitude photographic mapping between 25,000 ft to 38,000 feet.
DCA had indicated CofAs would be considered because of their specific use in operations in the national interest for which other tyes were not available.
14.3.62
Applications for CofA and Registration were submitted to DCA by Sepal Pty Ltd, Sydney. 
DCA allocated registration VH-AGJ for test flying. No Certificate of Registration issued.

Modification of A68-187 to install a camera operator position in the fuselage was discontinued when it was considered not operationally suitable. Survey modifications to A68-104 were not carried out.
(Whether there was any consultation with Fawcett Aviation at Bankstown regarding their camera operator modification to A68-100 a year earlier is not known)
61-63
A68-104 & -187 parked at the Adastra Aerial Surveys hangar at Sydney Airport
.62
A68-187 dold to Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney
.63
Ferried Sydney Airport-Bankstown with undercarriage extended. Held as spare for Fawcett's Mustang target towing contracts
.67-71
Mounted in flying attitude as advertising at the premises of the newly established Chieftan Aviation at Bankstown Airport, which was aFawcett Aviation associate
7.69
Purchased by F. Horace "Hockey" Treloar, Sydney NSW
Treloar was a land developer and aviation ethusiast who owned a series of aircraft including Lycoming re-engined Chipmunk VH-BVP and Supermarine Seagull VH-ALB.
.69
Registration VH-FHT reserved by DCA for the Mustang at Treloar's request. Registration not taken up.
.71
Mustang moved from its advertising pylons at Chieftan Aviation to the Aerostructures Pty Ltd hangar at Banktown Airport. Aerostructures was an airframe modification specialist business formed by Bill Smith ex Yeoman Aviation and Kingsford Smith Aviation Service at Bankstown.
Treloar engaged Aerostructures to design and carry out the re-engining of A68-187 with a Rolls Royce Dart 510 turbine engine reportedly acquired from Trans-Australia Airlines Vickers Viscount spares stock.
71
Work commenced at Bankstown and the Dart turbine engine installed
.72
Aerostructures Pty Ltd relocated to Canberra Airport.  The partially modified Mustang was moved by road to Canberra where work continued on the modification to Turbine Mustang.
3.73
Registration reservation changed to VH-UFO
74
Rebuild completed at Canberra Airport. Modifications included:
- removal of ventral radiator and oil cooler scoop
- complete recowling of engine forrd of firewall
- extensive refinement of electrical system and cockpit instrumentation
- installation of two 110 gallon CAC Sabre drop tanks
- airframe streamlining and weight rduction by  660 kg
74
Ground run but not flown
74-83
Parked in open at Canberra Airport
c83
Moved by road to Toowoomba Qld for hangar storage by local charter operator Jim Czerwinski.

At this time Treloar intended to have A68-187 restored back to original configuration with a Merlin engine and was acquiring parts from USA. The Toowoomba storage was arranged with the sale to Czerwinski of his Spifire XVI TE384 (airfreighted from England in an exchange deal with the RAF Museum for his damaged Supermarine Seagull VH-ALB). The Spitfire was moved by road from Canberra to Toowoomba in 9.83 for restoration to airworthy and test flown 10.88.
.95
Sold by Hockey Treloar "as is" to Don & Bill Whittington/ World Jet Inc, Fort Lauderdale Florida
.95
Packed at Toowoomba Qld and shipped to USA
8.95
Registered N919WJ World Jet Inc, Fort Lauderdale Florida
8.95
Onsold to Frank Borman/ Picacho Aviation, Las Cruces New Mexico  
.95
Dismantled airframe unpacked at Chino California, where airworthy restoration commenced for Borman  by Square One Aviation.
Airframe sections of a dismantled P-51D N7097V ex 44-74859 were reportedly used in the restioration
.96
Borman reserved registration N151SU. Not taken up.
12.96
Registered N50FS Picacho Aviation, Las Cruces New Mexico
Identity quoted on US Civil Register as "P-51D 44-74839-59"
16.12.96
First test flight Chino after rebuild as two seat Merlin-powered TF-51D with twin controls, Cavalier tall tail and enlarged cockpit canopy.  Painted as "USAF 474839/TF-839" named Su Su II
5.9.06
Change of ownership: Rod Lewis/ Lewis Aeronautical LLC/ Lewis Fighter Fleet LLC, San Antonio Texas

Retained the same USAF markings but name on nose changed to La Pistolera

Current. Flies with Lewis Fighter Fleet of ten restored warbird fighters and bombers


            A68-187 with No.3 Squadron Canberra while on a detachment to Townsville, Queensland in August 1951.           
John Hopton collection



A68-187 at Woomera SA parked with the variety of types flown by RAAF Air Trials Unit


Sydney Airport 1963 outside the Adastra Aerial Surveys hangar.                   Photo by Peter Limon


Bankstown July 1967 while held as a spare airframe by Fawcett Aviation.         Photo by Geoff Goodall


Two months later, displayed at Chieftan Flying School, Bankstown Airport on 22 September 1967.
Photo by David C. Eyre


Bankstown May 1971 with RR Dart turbine engine installed by Aerostructures.    Photo by David C.Eyre


Bankstown September 1971 packed for road transport to Canberra, where Aerostructures had relocated.
Photo by Roger McDonald


Turbine Mustang conversion completed, Canberra April 1974, all metallic.                  Photo by John Hopton


Canberra March 1976, parked on the GA ramp with an uncertain future.       Photo by Geoff Goodall


Rebuilt in USA as a TF-51D N50FS, flown as "La Pistolera" by Lewis Fighter Fleet in Texas


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.22    c/n 1517                    A68-192,  VH-FCB, PI-C651, VR-HIU, G-HAEC, D-FBBD
.51
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
8.3.51
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-192.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
15.3.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
15.11.57
Offered for disposal by Department of Supply
.58
Purchased by F. Christopher Braund, Tamworth NSW
23.4.58
Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal

Chris Braund was an experienced commercial pilot at that time flying DC-3s and Lockheed Hudsons for East-West Airlines, Tamworth.  He made a successful case for civil registration of his Mustang with the support of Liberal Party Cabinet Minister Wiliam McMahon who lobbied the Director General of Civil Aviation on his behalf.
6.11.59
Registered VH-FCB  F. Christopher Braund, Tamworth NSW
.60
Leased to Jack McDonald, Melbourne Vic
28.8.60
Jack McDonald's first airshow appearance with VH-FCB at Wentworth NSW. All metallic finish.

Jack McDonald was a former RAAF pilot with Mustang experience who was flying DC-3s for Brain and Brown Airfreighters, Melbourne. He ferried VH-FCB from Tamworth to Moorabbin where it was maintained by Brookes Aviation which became Civil Flying Services in 1962. Both company names were painted on the Mustang as advertising.
McDonald in his Mustang became legendary for polished flying displays at many country airshows in Victoria and southern NSW during the following four years.
3.64
McDonald in VH-FCB won the Speed section of the 3 day R.M. Ansett Air Race Brisbane to Adelaide.
10.66
Sold to Edward G. Fleming/ Skyservice Aviation, Camden Airport NSW
16.10.66
Delivered Moorabbin-Camden by Jack McDonald
10.66
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service. Civil Register listed owner as as F.C.Braund.

Dismantled by Skyservice Aviation and packed in container, stored at Camden pending sale overseas.
.68
Sold to George A. Scholey & James W. Froude/ Frontino Inc, Manila, Philippines
27.2.69
Registered PI-C651 Frontino Inc, Manila
.69
Forced landing, reportedly in rice paddy. Repaired
18.10.73
Badly damaged in forced landing at Manila Airport: hit a pole and struck several cars, came to rest inverted   

Rebuild commenced Manila, using fuselage centre-section of ex-Philippines Air Force P-51D 44-72917.
.75
Purchased partially rebuilt by Ray Hanna & Malcolm Rose c/- Hong Kong Aeronautical Engineering Co,
Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

Rebuild moved to Kai Tak where it was continued by Mal Rose in the workshops of HAECO, the heavy aircraft maintenance associate of Cathay Pacific Airlines. HAECO sponsored the rebuild project.
Some parts were supplied by Pearce Dunn of Warbirds Aviation Museum, Mildura Australia
.81
Registered VR-HIU D.E.Baker and partners, Hong Kong 
2.85
First test flight Kai Tak after rebuild, pilot Ray Hanna
28.2.85
Airfreighted dismantled from Hong Kong to London-Gatwick. Assembled Gatwick and flown to Duxford the same day
1.5.85
Registered G-HAEC Ray G. Hanna/ Old Flying Machine Co, Duxford
4.5.85
Test flown Gatwick after assembly, delivered to Duxford same day

Flown regularly at airshows, painted in a variety of markings for movie work
3.97
Sold to Robert W. Davies, Woodchurch

Leased for periods to Old Flying Machine Co, Duxford, and Historic Aircraft Collection, Duxford,
flew as USAAF "Big Beautiful Doll"
18.2.11
Sold to Volker Schulke/ Air Fighter Academy, Rangsdorf, Germany
4.11
Delivered to Germany by Rob Davies
6.11
Registered D-FBBD  Air Fighter Academy GmbH, Rangsdorf, Germany
10.7.11
Destroyed in mid-air collision at an airshow at Duxford.
D-FBBD flown by Rob Davies collided with a Douglas Skyraider during a warbird flypast. The Mustang dived into the ground. Davies baled out and was unhurt. Skyraider landed safely.


       Wentworth NSW, August 1960. Note the camera port faired over.                       Photo by John Hopton   
                         

Mildura Vic, September 1962.                                                               Photo by Dick Hourigan


Moorabbin Vic, March 1963                                                              Photo by John Hopton


Some nostalgia glimpses of Jack McDonald in action.  Echuca Vic 1962.           Photo by George Coop


Morwell Vic, March 1963 with Avro 19 VH-RCC.                                      Photo by Neil Follett


Horsham Vic, March 1965                                                                      Photo by Geoff Goodall


Adelaide Airport, October 1963.                                                        Photo by Geoff Goodall


Moorabbin Vic March 1964, repainted in its attractive new scheme.                       Photo by John Hopton


Parafield SA 31 March 1964, after winning the speed section of the R.M. Ansett Brisbane-Adelaide air race.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


Swan Hill Vic, March 1965.                                                                            Photo by Geoff Goodall


Swan Hill Vic, March 1965.                                                                          Photo by John Hopton


Jack McDonald at Horsham Vic March 1965.  Thanks Jack, we loved it all.


G-HAEC "Big Beautiful Doll" at Duxford in July 2006.                                           Photo by Dave Welch


            CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.22    c/n 1518                                                          A68-193,  VH-DBB
.51
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
6.5.51
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-193.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
18.6.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
4.7.53
Received No.22 Squadron, Richmond ex Tocumwal
26.3.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 22 Sqn for storage pending disposal
15.11.57
Authorised for disposal with installed Merlin
23.4.58
Collected by purchaser

Successful tenderer was R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.

Not scrapped. One of several Mustangs held by Grants in a Tocumwal hangar for possible resale as complete aircraft.
.63
Sold by R.H.Grant Trading Co to Dr. Anthony Fisher, Sydney NSW

Fisher was a keen private pilot who owned Ryan STM VH-CXR which he kept on his pastoral property Canarney at Jerilderie NSW. The Mustang was restored to airworthy at Tocumwal on an occasional basis by volunteer RAAF aircraft maintenance men and pilots from RAAF Richmond.
1.1.65
Fisher delivered A68-193 from Tocumwal to Jerilderie, arriving at Canarney for the annual New Years Day fly-in event. His other Mustang A68-104 was already based here.

Both Mustangs based at Jerelderie, flown occasionally.
4.4.69
A68-193 sold to Don Bushe, Melbourne Vic
13.5.69
Ferried by Jack McDonald from Jerilderie to Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne on a DCA ferry permit

Civil certification inspection by Schutt Aircraft at Moorabbin, including installation of new avionics and instrumentation. The aircraft was completed in polished metal finish.
11.69
Registered VH-DBB O. D. Bushe, Melbourne Vic
15.2.70
Crashed destroyed at airshow Bendigo Vic.
Don Bushe was performing a low altitude aerobatic display when the aircraft climbed steeply then fell into a tight spiral to the right and struck the ground near the airfield and was burnt out. Pilot killed.


A68-193 in RAAF service, at an airshow at Dubbo NSW in October 1953.        Roger McDonald collection


Stored in a wartime Liberator hangar at Tocumwal by the resident scrap metal dealers, January 1963.
Photo by Richard Hourigan


A68-193 at "Canarney" Jerilderie NSW in May 1964, having a pale green paint scheme applied.
Photo by John Hopton


Jerilderie May 1964 in colour by John Hopton


A68-193 at Moorabbin in September 1969 during its civil certification inspection by Schutt Aircraft. 
Photo: Australian National Aviation Museum collection


VH-DBB with owner Don Bushe at Moorabbin on 1 February 1970, just weeks before the fatal accident.
Photo by Peter Kelly


           CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.22    c/n 1523                  A68-198, N4674V, N65198, N86JB, N286JB, F-AZIE, N286JB
.51
Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
6.7.51
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-198.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
24.7.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
12.3.53
Received No.22 Squadron, Richmond ex Tocumwal
26.3.56
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 22 Sqn for storage pending disposal
15.11.57
Authorised for disposal with installed Merlin
23.4.58
Collected by purchaser at RAAF Tocumwal

Successful tenderer was R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.

Resold by R.H.Grant as a complete aircraft to an unknown civilian buyer

Parked at Tocumwal with covers over propeller, engine and cockpit

Flown from Tocumwal to Narromine NSW, where parked in a hangar, last reported 7.62

Colin Pay had A68-175 at Narromine at that time, but in his accounts of his experiences with 175, no mention is made of a second Mustang at Narromine.
.62
Acquired by Doug Fawcett/ Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW.
.62
Ferried Narromine-Bankstown, stored at Fawcett hangar or on grass opposite. Assumed held as a spare aircraft for Fawcett's Army target-towing contracts with VH-BOY & BOZ.
.66
Sold to Arnold J. Glass, Capitol Motors, Sydney NSW       See A68-5/VH-BVM above

Remained parked on grass opposite the Fawcett Aviation hangar, RAAF markings roughly painted over
.67
Sold to Edward G. Fleming /Skyservice Aviation Pty Ltd, Camden Airport NSW
.67
Sold to Stanley Booker/ Stan's Airplane Sales, Fresno CA
Stan Booker was in Australia at that time to purchase RAAF disposals Dakotas and was the successful bidder for the six RAAF Mustangs at the Emu atomic test site in South Australia.
7.67
A68-198 dismantled at Bankstown and packed in a wooden crate

Shipped to California
.68
Registered N65198: Joe F. Banducci & Elmer Rossi, Bakersfield CA
Type quoted as "P-51C", identity A68-198

Booker applied for this clever US registration but because of his dealings with the RAAF A65- series Dakotas, inadvertantly requested N65198, despite N68198 being available at that time.
11.68
A68-198 noted assembled at Bakersfield CA
.70
Reregistered N4674V  Joe F. Banducci & Elmer Rossi, Bakersfield CA
Adopted the identity of P-51D N4674V ex 45-11483.

This was a paperwork shuffle to allow the Mustang to be FAA certified in the Limited Category.
Joe Fred Banducci acquired the paperwork for N4674V which was an ex Bolivian Air Force airframe which had originally been with RAAF as A68-813. That RAAF connection seemed to satisfy the FAA that A68-198 was the same airframe as 45-11483. The actual ex Bolivian damaged airframe was
held by a Chino CA company which is believed to have used it for other Mustang rebuilds.

Named Ciuchetton, air race number 86
9.76
Inpexplicably flew at Reno Air Races with false registration "N607D" (a Beech Bonanza)
10.77
Reregistered N86JB  Joe F. Banducci, Bakersfield CA.  Race #86 Ciuchetton
3.82
Reregistered N286JB  Joe F. Banducci, Bakersfield CA.  Race #86 Ciuchetton
.83
Change of ownership: Don Whittington, Fort Lauderdale FL

Flown on a contract from Piper Aircraft for a chase plane for the Piper PA-48 Enforcer turboprop Mustang test flight program
85/90
Change of ownership: Frank Strickler and Lewis Shaw/ Fox 51 Ltd, Denton TX.
Flew as polished metal "USAF 511483/FF-483"
90/91
Change of ownership: Victor Haluska/ Santa Monica Propeller Inc, Santa Monica CA
5.91
Sold to Franklin Devaux/ Apache Aviation, Dijon, France.
.91
Crated at Chino CA for shipping to France
.91
N286JB registered to US trust owner Flying Eagles Inc, Wilmington DE to facilitate it being flown in France under US registration prior to French certification
1.9.92
Registered F-AZIE  Franklin Devaux/ Lafayette Aviation/ Flying Legend Association, Dijon-Longvic

Flew painted as "511483 The Best Years of Our Lives"
5.9.93
Badly damaged by in-flight fire, emergency landing at Dijon  
.94
Rebuilt, flew as "415622/AJ-T Short-Fuse Salle"
.95
Sold to Courtesy Aircraft Inc, Rockford, Illinois

Mark Clark's Courtesy Aircraft Inc is a leading US aircraft sales business specialising in warbirds
22.1.96
Struck-off French Civil Register as sold to USA
2.96
Shipped from France to USA
3.96
Registered N286JB Courtesy Aircraft Inc, Rockford, Illinois
3.96
Change of ownership: William L. Bruggeman/ Ten Air, Anoka County Airport, Minnesota

Flown initially as "415622/AJ-T Short-Fuse Salle", by 1989 as "US Air Force 511483/FF-483"
5.11.08
Change of ownership: Leonard Hudson/ Hudson Flight Limited LLC, Pampa Texas  
9.1.15
Change of ownership: Fresco Ltd, Ozona Texas

Current


Tocumwal NSW circa 1960 held complete by the resident scrap metal dealer.      Geoff Goodall collection


Parked at Bankstown in January 1967 while held as a spare by Fawcett Aviation.   Photo by Geoff Goodall


Bankstown July 1967, being crated for shipping to USA.                            Photo by Geoff Goodall


N86JB "Ciuchetton" at the 1979 Miami Air Races with racing pilot John Putnam's name under the cockpit.
Photo by Larry Johnson


N286JB at Oshkosh July 1989.                                                                  Photo by Geoff Goodall


              CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.22    c/n 1524                                          A68-199, VH-BOZ, G-MUST, VH-URZ

Built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne Vic
13.7.51
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-199.  Received 1AD Laverton ex CAC
13.8.51
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 1AD for storage under cover
28.1.53
Received No.23 Squadron Archerfield ex Tocumwal
3.11.53
Received RAAF Tocumwal ex 23 Sqn for storage
18.11.57
Authorised for disposal with installed engine by Department of Supply
23.4.58
Collected by purchaser

Successful tenderer was R.H.Grant Trading Co, Melbourne Vic
R.H.Grant was a scrap metal dealer which set up an aluminium melting furnace on Tocumwal airfield to process the large numbers of retired RAAF aircraft it purchased for scrapping until 1963.

Resold as a complete aircraft to Aubrey J. R. "Titus" Oates, Sydney NSW
.60
Resold to Doug Fawcett/ Fawcett Aviation, Bankstown Airport, Sydney NSW
9.11.60
Registered VH-BOZ Air Training Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airpoort, Sydney

This established maintenance, charter and sales organisation was founded by aircraft engineer Doug Fawcett in 1947. A subsidiary company Air Training Pty Ltd operated the successful Illawarra Flying School from the Fawcett hangar at Bankstown. Two Mustangs were operated for target towing for the Australian Army. Refer A68-39/VH-BOZ
60-77
Both flown extensively on Army target towing operations as far afield as Darwin NT.  Pilots were selected instructors from Illawarra Flying School with a specialist winch operator in a rearward facing seat behind the pilot. The Army contracts required 5 drogues to be carried on each sortie. They could be wound in and replaced with a new drogue in flight, to asess the number of hits on each pass. Other Army tasks were also carried out
.79
Fawcett sold VH-BOY and VH-BOZ to Douglas W. Arnold/ Warbirds of Great Britain Ltd/
Fairoaks Aviation Services Ltd, Blackbushe, England
20.12.79
Registered G-MUST Fairoaks Aviation Services Ltd, Blackbushe
12.79
Dismantled for shipping to England. VH-BOZ was impounded by Australian Customs.
Acting on a tip-off from a concerned aviation enthusiast, Customs inspected premises near Bankstown where VH-BOZ was being crated for shipment to Englanbd. It was found that Arnold was smuggling Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Nr163824 (ex Sid Marshall collection at Bankstown) with the Mustang.
The Bf 109 did not have export approval under the current Heritage protection legislation and had been sprayed all silver to disguise its identity.
80-92
Stored dismantled at AAF Stores Depots, at Regents Park Sydney, later Dubbo NSW
.84
Ownership transferred to RAAF Museum Reserve Collection, RAAF Point Cook VicRemained stored.
2.92
Loaned to: Fighter World Museum, RAAF Williamtown NSW
15.2.92
Arrived RAAF Williamtown by road.  Displayed in museum hangar as RAAF A68-199
12.97
Arrived dismantled at RAAF Point Cook ex RAAF Williamtown, stored dismantled in RAAF museum storage hangar. Planned to be used as exchange for WWI replica aircraft to be built for the museum.
.02
Traded by RAAF Museum to Graham Hosking, Tyabb Airport Vic.
In exchange Hosking provided a replica Avro 504 and replica SE.5A which were constructed by
AJD Engineering in England.
12.02
Moved by road ex storage RAAF Point Cook to Tyabb Airport. Stored dismantled in Hosking's hangar
7.12
Sold to Peter W. Gill, Tyabb Airport Vic
7.12
Moved to his hangar at Tyabb where restoration to airworthy commenced under engineer Peter Robinson. Aircraft painted as RAAF A68-199
24.3.14
Registered VH-URZ Peter W. Gill, Somerville Vic
17.12.16
First test flight Tyabb after restoration, pilot Nick Caudwell
18
Due ill health Peter Gill was forced to offer the aircraft for sale.
29.5.18
Change of ownership: Shaun K. Browne, Sydney NSW

Current


A68-199 with RAAF 23 Squadron during a 1953 deployment to Manus Island, New Guinea. 
Photo via John Laming


















Part 2:  RAAF North American P-51D and P-51K Mustangs to civil:

RAAF photograph of No.84 Squadron P-51Ks operating from Ross River strip, Townsville during 1945

             The United States Government supplied Australia with a total of 299 new production Mustangs from April 1945. All were built by North American Aviation's Dallas, Texas wartime plant, except A68-1001 which was built at the original NAA factory at Inglewood California, now the site of LAX.
P-51K A68-500 to 583,
P-51D A68-600 to 813
P-51D A68-1001 (pattern aircraft for CAC production at Fishermans Bend)

               These Mustangs were flown by RAAF Nos 75, 76, 77, 82, 84 and 86 Squadrons and saw overseas deployment to Japan and Korea until the early 1950s. Their disposal was mostly as scrap metal, but some were sold to US dealers, including a batch for onward sale to the Bolivian Air Force. Some of the paperwork from that 1953 transaction has been used in recent times to create identities for anononymous Mustang warbird restoration projects in USA.  Refer Warbirds Directory/North American on this site

             P-51D                c/n 111-36389                                 41-13106, A68-648, Australian War Memorial               
.45
Built by North American Aviation at Dallas, Texas as a P-51D-20-NT

Built to USAAF order as 44-13106. Diverted to Australia before delivery to USAAF

Shipped to Australia
5.6.45
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-648. Received 1AD Laverton ex USA for assembly as 44-13106.
29.7.45
Received No.2 Operational Training Unit, Mildura
8.11.45
Received 1AD ex 2OTU fo storage under cover
5.6.46
Received No.1 Aircraft Performance Unit, Laverton ex 1AD.
1APU renamed Aircraft Research & Development Unit , Laverton
1.6.48
Received RAAF Point Cook ex ARDU for storage
8.6.50
Issued to Melbourne Technical College as instructional aiframe.
Renamed Royal Melbourne Technical College in 1954, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1960

A68-648 was installed in the basement workshop of a RMIT building near the city.  Space restrictions required the outer wings to be removed and the stub wings outer of the undercarriage legs were faired over.
.83
After lengthy negotiations, ownership transferred from RMIT to Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

AWM called for tenders to restore the Mustang to display standard with a complete wing.
Successful tenderer was A.Jelliffe Pty Ltd, Melbourne which operated a civil approved workshop in a hangar at RAAF Point Cook, where it maintained Mustang VH-BOB for Bob Eastgate, who was a business associate.
.83
Removed from Melbourne RMIT building basement and moved by road to Point Cook
83-92
The restoration required major structural work to fit a replacement mainplane acquired from Aeronautical Research Laboratories storage stock.  The engine was dismantled, cleaned and inhibited for long term storage, then re-assembled.  The aircraft was then fitted out with all of its systems and painted in authentic 1945 Pacific Theatre RAAF markings as "A68-648 Polly"
93
Delivered by road to Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Initially displayed at AWM Treloar Centre annexe while waiting for space to become available in the main AWM building
.00
Moved into the main AWM building at Canberra, where displayed

Current


A68-648 at RAAF Point Cook, June 1983 soon after removal from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
            It was restored here for the AWM by a civilian contractor, including installation of a replacement wing.           
Photo by Geoff Goodall



A68-648 displayed with rockets inside the Australian War Memorial, Canberra



             P-51D               c/n 111-36299               44-13016, A68-674,  (VH-CVA), N9002N, N9202N, N5551D, ZK-SAS      
.45
Built by North American Aviation at Dallas, Texas as a P-51D-20-NT

Built to USAAF order as 44-13016. Diverted to Australia before delivery to USAAF

Shipped to Australia
4.7.45
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-674. Received 1AD Laverton ex USA for assembly as 44-13016.
14.11.45
Received 1AD Storage for storage under cover
22.5.46
Received Care & Maintenance Unit, Benalla ex 1AD Storage for storage under cover

A68-674 was one of a number of stored Mustangs at Benalla dismantled and their complete mainplanes sent to RAAF Stores Depot Dubbo NSW to be held for Aeronautical Research Laboratories, Melbourne for fatigue testing.
22.12.48
Authorised for write-off. Passed to Department of Aircraft Production for disposal

Offered for sale by auction at RAAF Benalla as fuselage only
25.5.49
Action completed by DAP
.49
Fuselages of A68-674 and A68-679 were acquired by local farmer Victor Coish, Benalla Vic
After being stripped for useful parts, the fuselages were left in the open at his property.
.66
Both fuselages acquired from the farm by Pearce Dunn, Melbourne Vic.
Stored in the Melbourne area while Pearce acquired components to complete the aircraft. He planned an aviation museum in the Keilor area but in 1968 negotiated the lease of land on the site of the foundations of the buildings area of the wartime RAAF Mildura on Mildura Airport. There Pearce Dunn established Warbirds Aviation Museum and built up a collection of military aircraft.

A68-674 rebuild project remained in storage. Pearce Dunn added to the parts collection with airframe sections from Mustangs sold at RAAF Mildura, which he located in the Mildura area:
- P-51K A68-513 dismantled sections on Mr.W.Smith's farm at Red Cliffs Vic.
- P-51D A68-659 dismantled hulk in Cecil Evans' bus wrecking yard at Buronga NSW
80
Pearce Dunn offered several stored aircraft for sale to finance construction of museum display hangars
.82
A68-674 project and dismantled ex RAAF Mosquito A52-600 sold to:
Vincent Thomas, Geoff Milne and Alan "Dusty" Lane, Albury NSW.
.82
Registration VH-CVA was reserved for A68-674

The partnership initally planned to restore both aircraft to airworthy, but the work required was beyond their resources. In 1983 they acquired CAC Wirraway A20-653 which began restoration to airworthy at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, flying in 1986 as VH-WIR.
.84
A68-674 project sold to Steve Wilmans/ King City Aviation, King City California
.84
Shipped to USA. Restoration commenced at Tiger Destafani's hangar at Shafter CA
.87
Registered N9002N Steve Wilmans, King City California
12.87
Reregistered N9202N  Steve Wilmans, King City California
90
Rebuild continued at King City CA
.92
First flight King City CA after rebuild. Painted in a spurious RAAF camouflage scheme
10.96
Change of ownership: Calvin Burgess/ Spirit Wing Aviation, Guthrie, Oklahoma
4.97
Reregistered N5551D Spirit Wing Aviation, Guthrie, Oklahoma

Flew painted as USAAF "413016/LH-X Dove of Peace"
3.12.02
Change of ownership:  Ray Williams/ US Technologies Holdings Inc, Canton Ohio  
8.04
Change of ownership: Paul Besterveld/ Holland Holdings LLC, Las Vegas Nevada
.04
Sold to Robert Borrius-Broek/ Jet Flight Wanaka Ltd, Wanaka New Zealand 
11.04
Shipped from USA to NZ Assembled at Auckland-Ardmore Airport
5.11.04
Registered ZK-SAS  Jet Flight Wanaka Ltd, Wanaka
22.2.05
First test flight after assembly Ardmore. Retained paintwork USAAF "413016/LH-X Dove of Peace"

Operated from Wanaka NZ
25.8.11
Change of owner's name:  Mustang Flights Wanaka Ltd, Wanaka
7.18
ZK-SAS listed for sale by International warbird dealers Platinum Fighters for US$1,595,000


A68-674 & -679 fuselages discarded on a farm near Benalla Vic in December 1963.     Photo by Peter Limon


A68-674 left and -679 at Benalla Vic in December 1963.                           Photo by Peter Limon


Adding to Pearce Dunn's parts collection was this fuselage section and more importantly wings of A68-659
found in a bus wrecking yard at Buronga, across the River Murray from Mildura in December 1966.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


A68-674 flew in USA before sale to New Zealand as ZK-SAS, seen at Mandeville NZ in March 2006.
Photo by Dave Welch

            P-51D                c/n 111-36388                                                                                  44-13105, A68-679,  N71FT      
.45
Built by North American Aviation at Dallas, Texas as a P-51D-20-NT

Built to USAAF order as 44-13105. Diverted to Australia before delivery to USAAF

Shipped to Australia
4.7.45
Brought on RAAF charge as A68-679. Received 1AD Laverton ex USA for assembly as 44-13105.
15.11.45
Received 1AD Storage for storage under cover
22.5.46
Received Care & Maintenance Unit, Benalla ex 1AD Storage for storage under cover

A68-679 was one of a number of stored Mustangs at Benalla dismantled and their complete mainplanes sent to RAAF Stores Depot Dubbo NSW to be held for Aeronautical Research Laboratories, Melbourne for fatigue testing.
22.12.48
Authorised for write-off. Passed to Department of Aircraft Production for disposal

Offered for sale by auction at RAAF Benalla as fuselage only
25.5.49
Action completed by DAP
.49-66
Fuselages of A68-674 and A68-679 were acquired by local farmer Victor Coish, Benalla Vic
After being stripped for useful parts, fuselages were left in the open at his property.
.66
Both fuselages acquired from the farm by Pearce Dunn, Melbourne Vic.
Stored in the Melbourne area while Pearce acquired components to complete the aircraft. He planned an aviation museum in the Keilor area but in 1968 negotiated the lease of land on the site of the foundations of the buildings area of the wartime RAAF Mildura on Mildura Airport. There Pearce Dunn established Warbirds Aviation Museum and built up a collection of military aircraft.
67
A68-679 assembled in a suburban park near Pearce Dunn's home in Keilor, Melbourne.
.68
Moved by road to Mildura Vic where reassembled in a hangar at Mildura Airport, prior to be moved to the Warbirds Aviation Museum compound.
80
Pearce Dunn offered several aircraft for sale to finance construction of museum display hangars
.81
Sold to Dennis Schoenfelder & David Zeuschel/ B & D Enterprises, Van Nuys California

Shipped to USA

Rebuilt to airworthy as a modified racer by Schoenfelder and Zeuschel, both were experienced restorers of warbird aircraft.
9.83
Registered N71FT Bill G. “Tiger” Destefani, Bakersfield, California
9.9.83
US CofA issued

Modified air racer Number 7, named Strega. Flown by Tiger Destefani at most Reno Air Races, winning the
Unlimited Gold Race Trophy a number of times
9.97
Damaged landing Reno-Stead Field after winning the Unlimited Gold Race.  Moved by road for repair and major rebuild before Strega reappeared at the 1999 Reno races.  Since then it has flown at most Reno Air Races with various uprated Merlin engines and race pilots.

Current


A68-674 & -679 fuselages on a farm near Benalla Vic in December 1963.               Photo by Peter Limon


A68-679 in August 1967 being asembled by Pearce Dunn in a public park near his then home in Keilor Vic.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


November 1968 after being moved to Mildura Airport where Pearce established Warbirds Aviation Museum.
One of his CAC Wirraways A20-719 behind.                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


A68-679 displayed inside the Warbirds Aviation Museum compound at Mildura in June 1972.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


A68-679 after rebuild in USA as modified air racer N71FT "Strega"at Reno Air Races in September 2013.
Photo by Curtiss Fowles/mustangsmustangs.com


Part 3:  North American P-51D restoration projects imported and completed as Australian civil aircraft: 

                In the late 1990s two Mustang rebuild projects were purchased in USA by Australian warbird enthusiasts. These two collections of airframe components were shipped to Perth and Brisbane respectively, where the parts were restored and assembled in specialist workshops, to be rolled out as immaculate airworthy Mustangs.

                                       North American P-51D                                                                                                    VH-FST
80-99
P-51D airframe parts collection held by John Sievers, Clovis California.
Sections and parts from different aircraft were acquired and stored in a large shed on Sievers' property at Clovis near Fresno CA.
Sievers was a metalurgist engineer at University of Fresno, who constructed new longerons and other sections, working closely with Mustang restoration specialist Art Teeters of Cal Pacific Airmotive at Salinas CA.  The mainplane had commenced an airworthy restoration at Cal Pacific Airmotive.

Main fuselage section was ex Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU, previously AURI). Rough condition with fork lift holes punched through skin. The NAA plate had been stolen while in storage at Chino CA.

It had been part of a package of 15 to 20 retired AURI P-51D airframes and spare parts inventory purchased in 1979 by US warbird dealers Ralph S. Johnson & Art E. Stagg, Oakland CA trading as Vanpac Carriers, Oakland CA.  The crated consignment was shipped to Oakland CA ex Sourabaya, Indonesia 21.3.79 on the ship Anders Maersk. These parts, many incomplete or accident damaged, found ready sale to the US warbird market as specific airframe sections needed for rebuilds, or collections of parts comprising restoration kits.
.99
Acquired as a partially restored project from John Sievers by Bill Wyllie, Perth, Western Australia
7.99
Arrived Jandakot Airport, Perth for rebuild by Rob Poynton's Panama Jacks Aircraft Service.
12.8.99
Registered VH-FST Wyllie Aviation, Perth WA
Identity quoted as P-51D 45-11526 based on paperwork supplied by Sievers
9.2.01
First flight Jandakot WA.  Painted to owner's specification as USAAF "472505/66 The Flying Undertaker" (port) and Snooks-6th (starboard) to represent the aircraft of Major William Shomo.
.05
Sold to warbird dealer Tony Raftis, Melbourne Vic
2.06
Delivered from Perth to Wangaratta Vic where based pending finalisation of resale
31.5.06
Change of ownership: Peter Croser & Mike Aitchison, Melbourne VIC, later Adelaide-Parafield SA
17.9.06
Port landing gear leg collapsed during landing at Point Cook Vic. Repaired at Point Cook.
8.6.08
Ferried Point Cook to Adelaide-Parafield SA. Owners now living in Adelaide.
Housed in Bob Jarrett's Classic Jets Fighter Museum hangar at Parafielkd
22.3.13
Change of ownership: Pay’s Air Service Pty Ltd, Scone NSW

Aircraft remained at Parafield with u/s Merlin engine
12.15
Maintenance party from Pay's Air Service installed a replacement Merlin at Parafield
21.12.15
Departed Parafield on delivery to Scone NSW
31.5.16
Change of ownership: Brad Bishopp/ Bishopp Aviation, Brisbane QLD

Flies painted as USAAF 472505/66 The Flying Undertaker (port) and Snooks-6th (starboard)

Current


The fuselage is completed in Panama Jacks Aircraft Service hangar, Jandakot WA.      Photo by Rob Poynton


VH-FST left side at Caboolture Qld in April 2017.                                             Photo by Ian McDonell


VH-FST right side at Watts Bridge, Qld in August 2017.                                  Photo by Ian McDonell


                                      North American P-51D                                                                                                    VH-MFT

Mustang airframe parts collection held by an owner at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Sections and parts from different aircraft had been acquired and stored.
3.94
Restoration project purchased by Ed Field/ Mustang Fighter Trust, Hong Kong

Ed Field was an Australian airline pilot who was now flying Boeing 747s for Cathay Pacific Airways. He formed the Mustang Fighter Trust with the aim of acquiring and operating a twin-controls Mustang commercially from Caboolture Airport, Queensland near his home,
26.5.95
The Mustang project arrived in a container at Caboolture Airport from USA.

Restoration of components and assembly commenced, using some new-build components constructed by Gerry Beck's Tristate Aviation in North Dakota
13.1.97
Registered VH-MFT Mustang Fighter Trust, Caboolture Qld
Registered as a CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21 c/n 1435, based on paperwork for the project.

(CA-18 c/n 1435 was A68-110, which was damaged in a taxying accident at RAAF East Sale 19.7.55 and sent to RAAF Tocumwal by road. Authorised for disposal 6.2.57 as a stripped airframe shell. Sold for scrap to R.H.Grant Trading Co at Tocumwal)

19.3.99
Change to owner's name: Warplanes Pty Ltd, Caboolture Qld
Ed Field was the operator, name change reflected changes within the ownership syndicate.
24.1.02
First test flight Caboolture Qld.  Painted as RAAF "A68-769/FA Snifter" with USAAF data block under cockpit stencilled as "P-51D-25-NT 44-84502" (viz A68-769)
21.6.06
Change to owner's name: Mustang Pty Ltd, Caboolture Qld
Operator Scots Cropcair Aviation Pty Ltd, Pelican Waters Qld  (Ed Field still managing the operation)

Current, based Caboolture Qld


VH-MFT taking part in an air show at RAAF Amberley Qld in October 2004


VH-MFT at Bundaberg Qld in July 2009.                                                Photo by Phil Vabre


VH-MFT during a major overhaul at Caboolture in March 2017.                        Photo by Ian McDonell


VH-MFT at Caboolture in August 2018.                                              Photo by Ian McDonell

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Tailpiece: 

Into the sunset... Phil Vabre captured VH-MFT getting airborne at dusk at Bundaberg Qld in August 2007.


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