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  F-6D-10-NA Mustang Serial Number 44-14873  
USAAF
5th AF
71st TRG
82nd TRS

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USAAF 1945

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California as a P-51D-10-NA Mustang. Converted to F-6D photo reconnaissance version with a natural aluminum finish. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. This Mustang operated as part of a detachment from Pitu Airfield (Pitoe, Moratai). On January 1, 1945, flown via Tacloban Airfield on Leyte to Hill Field (Hammer) on Mindoro.

Mission History
On January 11, 1945, took off piloted by Lt. Paul Lipscomb took off from Hill Field (Hammer) as wingman for F-6D Mustang 44-14841 piloted by William A. Shomo on an armed photographic and strafing mission over Tuguegarao Airfield, Aparri Airfield, and Laoag Airfield.

Over northern Luzon, the pair sighted a formation of enemy planes flying south at about 2,500' below them. Despite being obviously outnumbered, they immediately pulled an "Immelmann" turn and found themselves behind 11 Ki-61 Tonys and 1 Ki-44 Tojo escorting a G4M Betty.

Although the odds were 13 against 2, Major Shomo immediately ordered an attack. Accompanied by Lipscomb, they closed on the enemy formation in a climbing turn and scored hits on the leading plane of the third element, which exploded in midair. Major Shomo then attacked the second element from the left side of the formation and shot another fighter down in flames. When the enemy formed for Counterattack, Maj. Shomo moved to the other side of the formation and hit a third fighter which exploded and fell. Diving below the bomber he put a burst into its underside and it crashed and burned. Pulling up from this pass he encountered a fifth plane firing head on and destroyed it. He next dived upon the first element and shot down the lead plane; then diving to 300 feet in pursuit of another fighter he caught it with his initial burst and it crashed in flames. During this action his wing man had shot down 3 planes, while the 3 remaining enemy fighters had fled into a cloud bank and escaped. Major Shomo's extraordinary gallantry and intrepidity in attacking such a far superior force and destroying 7 enemy aircraft in one action is unparalleled in the southwest Pacific area. For his actions, Shomo earned the Congressional Medal of Honor (CMOH) on April 3, 1945.

The ultimate fate of this Mustang is unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
Thanks to Tony Feredo, Osamu Tagaya and Richard Dunn for additional information

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
F-6D
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