Miss Helen comes home

WARBIRDS P-51 Miss Helen

As new information on its history comes to light, a well-known wartime veteran P-51D Mustang makes a pilgrimage to the skies over its old base

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With John Dodd at the controls — wearing, incidentally, an authentic wartime fighter pilot’s Mae West, kindly loaned by John Romain for added authenticity on the photo sortie — P-51D Mustang Miss Helen overflies the old airfield at Bodney, with what remains of the control tower on the extreme left, and the aerodrome fire engine shed just to its right
PHOTOGRAPHY: RICHARD PAVER

The recovery and restoration of P-51D Mustang 44-72216 Miss Helen is part of the history of the UK’s warbird movement. It started more than 40 years ago, when rebuilds to airworthiness were far less numerous than they are today. At that time, little was known about the wartime background of this particular airframe, but details later came to light, connecting it with one of the US Army Air Forces’ most famous fighter units. Even now, new information on 44-72216’s career is still emerging.

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