Dakota Kid II | P-51D Mustang

Dakota Kid II

Scroll down for more images of the Dakota Kid II, an P-51D Mustang.

The P-51 story begins in 1940 when the British approached North American aviation to build a new fighter.  North American agreed in January, 1940, and remarkably, by September the aircraft made its first flight.  The D model, powered by a Packard-Merlin Rolls-Royce V-12 engine rated at 1490 horse power, was produced in the greatest numbers.  It had a maximum speed of 437 miles per hour at 25,000 feet, and a combat range of 1000 miles.  It had three 50 caliber machine guns in each wing with a service ceiling of 42,000 feet and was considered the best fighter of its time.

Crew: 1 pilot
Length: 32 ft 3 in
Wingspan: 37 ft
Height: 12 ft 2 in
Wing Area: 235 sq ft
Empty Weight: 7,125 lbs
Loaded Weight: 11,600 lbs
Powerplant: Packard Merlin V-1650-7 two-staged supercharged 12 cyl. V engine, 1,695 hp
Power/Mass: .18 hp/lbs
Max Speed: 505 mph
Range: 325 miles (750 with two 130 gallon tanks)
Service Ceiling: 41,900 ft
Rate of Climb: 3,200 ft/min
Armament: 6 x .50 caliber machine guns

Mustang Pilot Aces: 281
Mustangs Produced: 15,686
Remaining Mustangs: 165

The Story Behind the P-51 "Dakota Kid"

by Dr. Henry Reichert, Jr. M.D.,
Bismark, N.D., U.S.A.

Click here to read the full story.

The original "Dakota Kid" was born in March of 1944 at Steeple Morden, England. The first "Dakota Kid" was a P-51 C model, and was later replaced by a D model, flown by Lieutenant Noble Peterson. As a member of the 355th Fighter Group of the 358th Fighter Squadron, his major mission was that of bomber escort. His crew chief, Robert Coleman, is a retired businessman living in Long Island, New York.

It is a great privilege to honor Captain Peterson, Sergeant Coleman, and all the veterans of World War II and subsequent conflicts.