How the ‘Duxford Eagles’ learned to love the Mustang

In late 1944, the men of the Duxford-based 78th Fighter Group faced a new challenge. Since 1943 they had run the gauntlet of German fighters and anti-aircraft fire in that tremendously dependable platform, the P-47 Thunderbolt. Now the ‘Duxford Eagles’ were converting to the P-51 Mustang — and some of them weren’t best pleased. With extracts from unit records, this is the story of the 78th’s transition

“We loved the Thunderbolt… so when they decided to change over to the P-51 we were not very happy.”

Who wouldn’

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