North American F-6C 'Mustang'

  Manufacturer:North American
  Base model:F-6
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1930-1947
  Basic role:Photographic

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 Robert Bourlier
 , FL
The F-6C, flown by the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in China from June 1944 to August 1945, was a P-51B/C "Mustang", modified on the production lines to carry the K-24 oblique camera in a compartment located behind the radiator. A round opening on the lower left fuselage was made for the camera lens. A black cross (+) was painted just outboard of the ammo chutes on the left wing and the left side of the canopy had three crosses (+) etched one above the other (pilots had different seating heights). The pilot would line-up the cross (+) on the wing with a cross (+) on the canopy and with the target. A switch on the control stick would trip the camera shutter when pressed. In China the F-6C was used as any other fighter but with the added capability of taking post strike photos. The 118th TRS seldom had more than 2-3 F-6 airplanes. When the P-51D/K became available the 118th TRS received several F-6K variants, now equipped with 6 .50 cal. machine guns. As a final note, the CO of the 118th TRS, 23rd FG, LtCol Edward O. McComas, became the 4th highest scoring Ace in the 14th AF with 14 aerial victories, 4 destroyed on the ground and a Japanese destroyer sung in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong. He was also the only Ace-in-a-day in the 14th AF when he shot down 5 Japanese "Oscars" on one mission, Dec. 23, 1944. The squadron produced two other Aces while in China. (LtCol Chuck Older, Deputy CO 23rd FG scored at least 4 aerial victories while flying the squadrons' airplanes).
09/07/2004 @ 15:19 [ref: 8228]


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