North American P-51D Mustang 'Lil Margaret' is currently being rebuilt to fly in Italy
After an overrun in England, the Italian owner moved it to a renowned workshop in the United States to repair it. Back in Italy, it's hoped that within a few months the fighter will be airworthy again. It should make a return to the skies from a private airfield near Mantua.
Accepted by the USAAF in July 1945, 44-73822 initially served with the 363rd TRS, at Brooks Field in Texas. It entered civilian hands in 1958, firstly as N5454V before being re-registered N51BS for Henry ‘Butch’ Schroeder, with John Dilley completing a post-rebuild flight in June 1993. An outstanding restoration incorporating parts of 44-84786, it was crowned WWII Grand Champion at that year’s EAA AirVenture. Painted to represent the latter machine, Lil Margaret, the mount of USAAF ace Clyde B East, it was sadly damaged in a take-off accident at Kent’s Woodchurch airfield in 2018, and has been under restoration since then.