This is N2872D, S/N: 45-11620. Penn Patrick was killed in this airplane after making a low pass (stall/spin) near his farm at Clear Lake CA. 6/9/73. Its history as follows: Sold as surplus from USAF, McClellan AFB, CA, 1957, to Micheal E. Coutches/American Aitcraft Sales Co, Hayward, CA, 1957-1964. Registered as N2872D. Sold to Kevin D. Derth, Novota CA, 1966. Last owner William Penn Patrick/Holiday Magic Inc/Spectrum Air Inc, San Rafael CA, 1968-1973. As noted above aircraft was crashed/destroyed 6/9/73.
Here is more detail for your website. My grandfather is Elton Garner, who owns the ranch adjacent to the former William Penn Patrick ranch in Clearlake Oaks CA. My grandfather witnessed the wreck of the above P51 Mustang in 1973, and was the first person to the crash site. He pulled Penn Patrick and his French Co-Pilot from the aircraft, both who were deceased. The plane had wrecked on a rock bluff that was accessible with a Jeep on an old cat fire trail, which my grandfather used to get to crash site. I heard the story a number of times when I was a kid. It is my understanding that Penn Patrick and his Co-pilot were flying up an down Long and High Valley most of the day. The P51 was traveling at or near full speed when my grandfather indicated that the pilot (either Penn Patrick or the co-pilot)had pulled up to fly over the mountain, and had apparently blacked - out due the speed and pitch of the airplane. At that point, the plane rolled over on itself and went into the mountain at full power. Parts of the fusilage and tail can be seen from our ranch in Long Valley, which is adjacent to Penn Patrick's ranch in High Valley, Clearlake CA.
Also killed aboard the aircraft was Christian George Hagert, Penn's Managing Director from Finland. I am not sure he was french or not, but here is the information.
When this plane crashed I was pastoring a church in San Rafael, California and knew Bill and his wife Marie. I was asked by Marie to preside at a service for Bill at the ranch and also at the christian church in San Rafael. The church was small seating only about 180. There were 7 or 8 hundred attending with most people standing outside listening to loud speakers. It was a sad event as Bill was a young, successful man who had created a huge business.
I just discovered this website and happened upon this plane. I believe this plane was based at the old Gnoss Field in San Rafael. It was my first look at a Mustang up close and I still remember it to this day. It's unfortunate to learn of the plane and it's occupants demise.
William Penn Patrick also owned & restored a Canadair Mark 5 (F-86) that crashed into a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor on 9/24/72 in Sacramento Ca. killing 22 people, Pilot survived, telling NTSB the plane shuttered while lifting off and had to make a split second decision to abort or not. He had 8 hrs in the type.