The famed “Tondelayo” of the 345th Bombardment Group known as the “Air Apaches” as it served in the 500th BS. The Tondelayo was one of three B-25Ds that sunk a 6,000-ton freighter in the South Pacific during World War II. Its story was unique in the fact that During the battle, the Tondelayo’s engine was shot out and for over an hour it combated 50 Japanese fighter planes as it headed down the New Britain coast. The other two accompanying B-25s were shot down during the battle. The plane’s turret gunner was given credit for shooting down five Japanese fighters and the crew earned the Distinguished Unit Citation and Silver Stars. Despite tremendous damage “Tondelayo” was returned to service after it was repaired… like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Tondelayo was named after the sexy actress Hedy Lamar’s character “Tondelayo” in the 1942 film White Cargo.
U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter aircraft manufactured by North American Aviation, Inc., between 1942 and 1945. In its role as a long-range bomber escort in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, the P-51 exhibited its greatest influence and is credited by many as the airplane that shifted the European airwar in favor of the allied forces.
This P-51 was used by the USAFF, USAF and various U.S. Air National Guard units during and after World War II, performing a variety of missions, including interception of enemy aircraft, long-range bomber escort, armament support for land and sea forces, photographic reconnaissance and flight training.
The P-51 performed at levels surpassing other single-engine, propeller driven fighter aircraft during World War II. The wingspan of 44-73287 is 37.03 feet and has a wing area of 236 square feet. The plane’s two-section, semimonocoque fuselage is constructed entirely of aluminum alloy and is 32 feet and 2 5/8 inches in length.
Laminar flow airfoil was used during World War II in the design of the wings for the North American P-51 Mustang, as well as some other aircraft. Operationally, the wing did not enhance performance as dramatically as tunnel tests suggested. For the best performance, manufacturing tolerances had to be perfect and maintenance of wing surfaces needed to be thorough. The rush of mass production during the war and the tasks of meticulous maintenance in combat zones never met the standards of NACA laboratories. Still, the work on the laminar flow wing pointed the way to a new family of successful high-speed airfoils. These and other NACA wing sections became the patterns for aircraft around the world.