Patrick Davidson’s P51D Mustang, “The Queen of Hearts” has adopted a stunning new colour scheme and yesterday morning I got to do an air to air shoot along the coast of Port Elizabeth with Patrick and his fine steed.
The new colour scheme is based on the 352nd Fighter Group which was one of the most highly decorated USAAF Fighter Groups in World War II, producing many leading aces of the war. The 352nd was composed of three squadrons: (the 328th, 486th and 487th Fighter Squadrons). Once deployed to the European Theater of Operations , the group was eventually headquartered in Bodney, England before being forward deployed to Belgium. On 8 April 1944, the 352d exchanged their radial-engined P-47s for sleek North American P-51 Mustang fighter planes. It was then that the Group adopted their unique blue nose marking. It is legend among aviation historians that the German Luftwaffe referred to the 352nd as the “Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney.” In the end, the Group flew nearly 60,000 combat hours in 19 months, claimed 519 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air (4th highest among the 15 groups of VIII Fighter Command), 287 on the ground and produced 26 aerial aces for losses in combat of 118 aircraft.