The North American P-51 Mustang
P-51 Who?   Case # 48
IAF354         Closed?
Solved by: Martin Kyburz
P-51 Who 48
Case#: 48
Date: Jun 15 2000
By: Andy Neale
Photo: unknown place/date
Status: Closed?
P-51 Who? Viewer Responses
Wiliam D. Yoak
06/19/2000 23:19
This is challenging.I will say that I do not have any knowledge of the final outcome of this aircraft, but I am attempting to put whatever resources are available together.It looks like we still have something to work with as there is a '51 indicated on page six of the P-51D Survivors List.The call# code is the only "info" that appears to be available. The call# to which I am referring is F-354--listed as being on display in Indonesia. However, the national insignia on the Mustang in the photo is that of the Netherlands (almost sure). The flag of the Netherlands consists of three soild bars (red over white-over blue).This appears to be the same as the flag on the vertical fin as it is depicted in the photo. The no. 354 appears in this photo as well. Though the F preceding the no. 354 indicated in the list is not shown in the photo, I suspect two possibilites. One is that it may not be shown on the side of the "roundel" that is opposite of the number. The other possibility may be that it is not included in the aircraft (markings) if all Mustangs in a specific inventory or military squadron are understood to have F or any other letter as part of their call numbers.

Of course, this could be a coincidence that two aircraft from different nations have the no. 354 I must admit that my knowledge of paint schemes for some P-51's of foreign air forces is limited. I wonder if there is a slight possibility of an error in the Survivors List Section regarding F-354. Even the best mustang "historians" can make a mistake sometimes.My apologies if I am the one in error here.

My guess is that this mustang is still on display in the Netherlands or another European country. Hope this is helpful in figuring out Case #48.
Martin Kyburz
06/20/2000 04:51
Truly a strange picture ! I cannot give a solution but some more info which narrows the search-path a bit: The NEIAF-markings must be fake since the NEIAF (Netherlands East Indies AF) received 41 a/c in 1945 which were given NEIAF serial H-301 to H-340 (N3-601 to N3-640). Many of these planes were transferred to AURI (Indonesian AF, later TNI-AU) sometime late in 1949, early 1950. The Indonesian AF later acquired some additional Mustangs from various (sometimes obscure) sources. They even received Cavalier-conversions as late as 1972. Within the Indonesian AF, the forner NEIAF-codes H-3xx were simply changed to F-3xx. The new arrivals seem to have received serials in sequence, although late deliveries got F-311 and F-312. There has never been an a/c flying with the NEIAF with serial H-354 !!

This leads to the possibility, that this is an ex-Indonesian AF-Mustang in fake NEIAF-markings. Candidates are: 44-13009 (ex RAAF 68-687) N31RK, 44-73053 N7715C, 44-73543 N151TP, 44-74962 N51DK, 44-75024 N96JM, 44-84850 N850AH, 44-84860 N327DB, 45-11525 N151AF. These are all known to have flown with the Indonesian AF and eventually turned up on the US-civil-market, but their former Indonesian AF-serial is unknown. Over to you.
Martin Kyburz
08/14/2000 12:00
An ex-AURI-pilot claims that this picture was taken at Kalidjati Air Base on Java a long time ago. The a/c has since been repainted and currently is on display at the Indonesian Air Force Headquarters in Jakarta. This means that it is 44-84801 (c/n 124-44657), delivered to the NEIAF on August 29th, 1945, put into service on February 8th, 1946 as N3-638, coded H-338 from January 1st, 1948, transferred to AURI (Indonesian AF) 1949 and re-coded F-338. What still puzzles me is why they put on fake-NEIAF-markings an another code - one possibility is that some ex-NEIAF-Mustangs were reworked by TFA / Cavalier sometime during their Indonesian-time and were given new codes upon receipt back in Indonesia ?
Marco Pennings
11/13/2001 12:00
As inspected (and photographed) by myself at the very same location (but with more trees) back in 1998: MUSIUM PALAGAN (Heroes Museum), AMBARAWA, JAVA, INDONESIA, April 03, 1998.

P-51D 354, in fake ML-KNIL scheme, has large red/white/blue (FAF style) roundel underneath current markings. Aircraft has been there since at least july 1984. Could be former AURI F-354 (operational 1961). AURI Mustangs indeed remain a fascinating subject.
Case Closed!
P-51 Mustang

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