Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Central Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 7th Air Force, unit unknown.
During 1945, this Mustang crashed on Chi Chi Jima. This Mustang is possibly one of at least three P-51D Mustangs lost over Chi Chi Jima associated with a MIA (Missing In Action) pilots: P-51D 44-63957 MIA May 10, 1945 or P-51D 44-63458 MIA June 2, 1945, or P-51D "Ramblin' Rebel" 44-63986 MIA June 3, 1945.
In 1992, the outer wing with U. S. star markings remained in situ on Chi Chi Jima.
Dan King adds:
"The local guy who guided me said they couldn't find the cockpit half of the plane or the other wing yet. I only took two photos of it back in April '92. There is yellow paint (not primer) clearly visible on a big piece of the wreckage. I didn't find machine guns or propeller blades at the site. The engine and prop hub was still there so I think locals took the props as souvenirs to put in front of their homes, possibly. I didn't see a single trace of the cockpit or the other wing.
I did bring a small piece of aluminum pipe back with me, some kind of aluminum pipe. There is a set of numbers on the pipe 104-46860 [P-51 Mustang Part Number Prefix]. I pulled this pipe out of the mud and earth it was jammed into at the crash site. There is a grey, black, grey band painted around the pipe."
Some Japanese citizens had built a tiny little concrete monument about 6" x 8" tall marked "P-51 search team" (in Japanese) craved into a hole in the hillside.
Historical Consulting / Chi Chi Jima P-51 Mustang
Thanks to Dan King for additional information
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January 31, 2018