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Paul Barber
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Invasion Stripes: Williams Villian, Mustang P-51D 352nd Fighter Group, Tamiya 1/48

June 6, 2024 · in Aviation · · 16 · 150

It is always fairly difficult to find operations and tasking for individual aircraft. It is fair to say that The Blue Nosed ‘Basterds' of Bodney were huge players over Normandy in 1944 and then beyond.

June 1st to 5th
The 352nd Fighter Group, flying of at RAF Bodney in Norfolk in England, was engaged in preparation and training for the upcoming D-Day invasion. The group was focused on familiarisation with the invasion plans and ensuring their Mustangs were ready for combat.

June 6th, (D-Day)
Morning: The 352nd Fighter Group was tasked with providing air cover for the Allied invasion forces landing on Normandy beaches. They conducted fighter sweeps and bomber escort missions to ensure the safety of the troops below.
Afternoon: The group continued to fly multiple sorties throughout the day, engaging with German aircraft and providing close air support to ground force, helping to establish air superiority over the invasion area.

June 7th to 9th,
The 352nd continued their support operations over Normandy, flying missions that included strafing runs, bomber escorts, and engaging Luftwaffe fighters. Their primary objective was to disrupt German reinforcements and supply lines heading to the front.

June 10th to 12th,
The group shifted focus to deeper penetration missions into France, targeting transportation hubs, railways, and enemy airfields to prevent the Germans from mounting an effective counterattack.

June 13th to 15th
352nd provided continued air cover for the advancing Allied ground forces and engaged in several dogfights.

June 16th to 20th
Supported the strategic bombing campaign against German industrial targets. They escorted bombers to ensure the destruction of critical infrastructure and supply depots.

June 21st to 25th
During this period, the group intensified their ground attack missions, strafing enemy positions, vehicles, and convoys, significantly disrupting German logistics and communications.

June 26th to 30th
The 352nd continued their relentless pressure on German forces through a mix of bomber escort missions and ground attack operations.

This timeline highlights the 352nd Fighter Group's intense and pivotal role in the air operations that supported the success of the D-Day invasion and subsequent Allied advances in June 1944.

Soon after the 352nd went on in July 1944 to support the allied breakthrough in the Battle of Saint-Lô and in September 1944 Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.

While it is not easy to find the exact roles of the 'Williams Villian', it is known that like countless pilots over Normandy Lt Robert W Graham became a POW when his plane came to grief while attacking a train. It belly landed having been hit by Flak, on August 12th at Marest.

Reader reactions:
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1 additional image. Click to enlarge.


16 responses

  1. Looks great! Tamiya kit still holds up well even with new competition. Excellent build of an important aircraft

  2. Paul Barber (@yellow10)
    I agree with David. These older Tamiya kits still look very nice ! Your metal finish looks absolutely stunning. Some of the best I have ever seen. Well done ! Before I go I am DEFINITELY clicking on a few of the various "like" buttons.

  3. She is a beauty Paul! My only P-51 build (from several decades ago) was one of these blue-nosed birds - they are very attractive!

  4. That's a real beauty, Paul @yellow10
    The NMF shines perfectly, very nicely done.

  5. beautiful Pony. Enjoyable read also. Thanks much for sharing.

  6. A beauty, Paul!
    Fantastic job and excellent result!

  7. Great job,Paul!

  8. Excellent metal work on the Mustang Paul. I agree the Tam Mustangs are still excellent kits, not as fiddly and enough details from the base kit to enhance with extras or as it is. Nice write up as well. Thanks for sharing.

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