3 Unknown Facts About P-51 Mustang Escorts

3 Unknown Facts About P-51 Mustang Escorts | World War Wings Videos

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1. The Mustang’s Effective Range Was Reduced On Escort Duty

This is primarily because P-51s needed to weave to stay with the slower bombers.

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Even though these fighters had enough range to go to the target area and return to base, weaving drastically reduced their range.

2. The Eight Air Force Used A Relay System

In this system, one group of fighters would pick up the bombers as soon as they reached enemy territory and escort them for roughly 150 to 200 miles.

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About 5 minutes before reaching the range limit, another fighter group would relieve the older ones.

This system basically meant fighters were changed every hour until the bombers were back to friendly territory.

3. Mustangs Didn’t Fly As Close To The Bombers As You Thought

The rule in Europe is that the moment a fighter points his nose towards you, you fire if he is in range.

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Because of this, escorts flew well outside of the bomber formations for everyone’s safety.

The “Low Section” flew 500 to 1,000 ft above the formation, while the “High Section” flew at 1,000 to 1,500 ft and above the bombers.

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