Arma Hobby North American P-51C "Evalina".
Arma Hobby North American P-51C "Evalina" in 1/72 scale. Built Out of the Box. Finished in Alclad II Polished Aluminum, weathered with oils. The kits' decals are Techmod, and perfformed flawlessly. This is likely the most detailed kit I've ever done in this scale.
A P-51C with the charming name “Evalina” was the first and, as it turned out, last fully airworthy North American Mustang to be captured by the Japanese. Intensive tests followed by demonstration flights at combat units convinced both veterans and commanders of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force that their most recent “acquisition” was a truly fantastic aircraft – the fulfilment of every fighter pilot's dreams.
The North American P-51C-11-NT Mustang with registration number 44-10816 (manufactured at the Dallas plant in Texas as 111-28949) was the personal aeroplane of First Lieutenant Oliver E. Strawbridge. At the turn of 1945, the fighter was stationed in China with the 26th Fighter Squadron, itself an element of the 51st Fighter Group. The unit's combat trail had started in India and proceeded through Burma and China, ending in French Indochina, a territory that comprised present-day Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
“EVALINA” ENDS UP IN JAPANESE HANDS
In truth, the circumstances of the incident have still not been fully clarified. We do know that on 16 January 1945 the pilot landed “Evalina” on the Chinese airfield of Suchin, which was still held by the Japanese. While the Americans concluded that this was the result of a navigational error, Japanese sources mention an emergency landing – and then muddle the story still further. Namely, some maintain that the aircraft belly-landed in a rice paddy near the base, but according to others the fighter made a normal landing necessitated by a technical fault.
Practically all historians reject the former version of events, logically assuming that Japanese ground crews would have been incapable of repairing damage sustained by an Allied fighter during a wheels up landing made in difficult terrain (especially as there are no extant documents suggesting that such repairs had actually been performed). This would appear to be supported by the fact that later, when “Evalina's” tail wheel leg suffered only slight damage, it was simply left locked in the down position. Whatever the case may have been, the chance acquisition of a virtually brand-new and fully functional Mustang was a godsend to the IJAAF. It was no surprise, therefore, that the aircraft was collected and flown to Japan, where it underwent detailed testing, by one of the leading aces of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force – Major Kuroe.