S u m m a r y
||The Airborne Invasion of
available online from Wade Meyers Studios
||Great wartime footage,
including color sequences; terrific inspiration for modellers.
Reviewed by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
The P-51 Mustang.
Iconic to say the least, but where did it get its start. Which unit had
the distinction of introducing the P-51B to combat? That would belong to
the 354th Fighter Group of the NINTH Air Force, not the 8th Air Force.
The Pioneer Mustang group.
This DVD is 2 ½ hours long and is actually a video diary of the unit’s
activity from its conception on 15 Nov 42 with P-39s until its
deactivation on 31 Mar 46. The opening shows a very nice formation of
the unit’s P-39s. You are quickly moved to England and you watch the off
loading of the new P-51B Mustangs in England. You follow them from the
ship along the road side to the air base. It is neat to see the Mustangs
cocooned in their protective shell. Takeoffs with the new aircraft with
their white nose and stripes are quite interesting. One of the unique
aircraft is one coded CG-2. You are also introduced the James Howard, of
Flying Tiger fame and Medal of Honor winner. His P-51B “Ding Hao!” with
a normal canopy and his gun camera footage from his Medal of Honor
mission. His film shows some great shots at Me-110s and 109s.
The next sequence is a Berlin Mission and the highlight is a crash
Because of their uniqueness of the new aircraft they were visited by a
variety of VIPs including the King of Yugoslavia. The King is remarkably
young looking, even younger than the pilots. There is lots of pomp and
circumstance. It is in this sequence that we get our first look at a NMF
B model and a Malcolm hood modification. We also can see that the tail
stripes are over painted and the noses are now adorned with the colors
of the unit’s. An interesting situation is shown as Gen. Eisenhower
shoots the guns of a P-47. He and I would be too, is smiling ear to ear.
D-Day markings are the highlight of the next sequence. The stripes are
hastily painted and not very straight and proper. IPMS judges take note.
LOL. The 354th actually escorted the glider force. The first D models
are shown. Candid interviews with the crews are a hilarious feature.
Included is Major Turner from Short Fuse Sally fame.
Interspersed throughout the video are strafing films. Everything is
taken under the guns of the Mustangs from 109s to trucks and trains.
Most of the films are in color which lets the viewer see what it was
really like, exciting and terrifying.
Moving onto the continent at A2 in July 44 is highlighted. This sequence
starts with C-47s lumbering into the air then the P-51s with full D-Day
markings, which now are more neatly painted. You are treated to some
excellent low level buzz jobs; some so close that you can hear the
supercharger. I’m not sure if that was added post production but it
sounds really cool. You also get the feel of what it was like to be a
German infantryman. You can tell whoever is flying as aircraft #4 was a
hot dog or an old hand flying FT-P. He gets really low. You can hear the
artillery in the background as well. One thing for the modeler to note
is as the aircraft land and taxi by you are treated to some great
weathering and mud patterns. Some aircraft exhibit very chipped paint on
the nose. The sequence ends as it begins with the C-47s landing.
LT King, an unsuspecting young looking pilot, is interviewed with a
beautiful French woman and children. It is all very canned and campy but
it is nostalgic. Behind and eventually highlighted is the bombed up
P-51B with some excellent graffiti on the bomb. Also the nose markings
of “Atlanta Peach” are very nice as well.
Horses on the airfield do not like the mechanical Mustangs or the pilots
who one would believe to be from Texas as they try to rope and wrestle
the horses. When they try to do this to a colt the mare is not pleased
and shows them that she will not put up with their antics. Eventually
she allows them to ride her but it is not an easy proposition.
An awards ceremony is highlighted, as well as, camouflage netting over
“Bonnie B” a P-51B with a fuselage fillet and Malcolm hood. Nice diorama
potential here. The day to day life of the soldiers and airman are
included to show you what primitive conditions existed on the continent.
Ike comes for a visit in a very filthy two seat P-51B CQ-Z. I didn’t
notice the “Stars look down” markings on the nose but it is very
apparent that Ike is going to ride this pony to the ground if something
happens as he has to be “released” from the aft cockpit. It is
interesting how he has to be wrenched out of the back.
There are numerous take off and formation shots, including some in
color. The formation video is very close and very useful for the
modeler. The attack sequence is filmed in color and you can see the flak
bursting around the aircraft. The beautiful sequence is highlighted with
a flyover of a bombed out city or should I say the rubble that use to be
a city. Finally there is an A-20 escort which shows them on the bomb run
real close up.
Sometime in late 1944 the Pioneer Mustang group traded in their Mustangs
for P-47s. There is a sequence showing the P-47s in the snow. There is
lots of ice and blowing snow on everywhere. This will provide lots of
inspiration for those new Hasegawa P-47s. Some great markings will keep
decal manufacturers in hog heaven. There is an interesting crashed 190
shown. After about four months they traded them back in for P-51s.
Color film is the highlight for the rest of the video. The color gun
film is remarkably clear and you get to travel the countryside blowing
things up. Planes, trains and automobiles are shot up. There is one
sequence that stands out for me and that is shooting down a FW-190 over
an airfield and you can see the flak shooting at the Mustang. Really
cool. You are treated to FW-190s and Bf-109s with P-51s swarming around
them. Fish in a barrel.
The movement to Ober Olm airfield is a great sequence showing “Angel’s
Playmate” of Lt Carr. LTC Eagleston’s P-51 is shown to great effect with
the large eagle motif. As a note, Eagleston was the group’s highest
scoring ace with 18.5 victories. “Margie Maru” and “Wee Speck” are just
some of the other Mustangs that are shown.
The next gun camera footage shows two P-51s shooting at a Ju-88 and
chasing and shooting a Bf-109. There is some excellent maneuvering by
the German pilot who obviously is an experten.
Maintainers and great diorama possibilities are the best part of the
next sequence which shows an engine change. Excellent stuff.
Something for the Luftwaffe buffs, and you know who you are, there are
wrecks that the mechanics look over including a Bf-109G-10 or K-4. All
in clear color film. There are some other aircraft including a Ju-88G-6
night fighter, including the yellow wiring in the cockpit. In Ansbach
you see a well used Ju-52 and a He-111 (wkn 201413) with some very
interesting squiggle markings on the tail only. Then there is another
109 this time a G-12 trainer. As far as I know this is the only color
photo of a G-12 I’ve ever seen. Still want more? There are two other
109s both G-14s “Yellow 28” and wkn 161037. Very useful and informative.
VE-day is celebrated with some low level high speed passes, some REALLY
close to the cameraman. You will find yourself ducking. The inside of
the German hangars will be very helpful to modelers for dioramas.
The pilots tour the Nuremburg Stadium. What is immediately apparent is
the young age of the pilots. A very picturesque and picture post card
view of Alpine villages and the Eagle’s Nest are included, of course all
in full color.
LUFTWAFFE ALERT- A FW-190F-8 is shown in full color and from all sides.
The Americans taxi the aircraft past the cameraman. It provides a wealth
of information including red primer on the one wheel hub. It really is a
full walk around including a late style prop with the counter weights.
The VE party includes Red Cross nurses and a band. This is followed up
with another awards ceremony with the entire group. It is amazing how
many people it took to keep a group going. Also the number of aircraft
spaced around the field. Lots of shots of P-51Ds, including one named
“Flagship Nancy Ann” with a three colored spinner. Really colorful.
There are more P-51s shown than I can name, some are very worn and
weather beaten. You’ll note the large amount of mud on the airplanes.
The new tail insignia is shown as well. One thing to watch for is the
spectacular low level stall and crash of a P-51 “Sweet Jamie”.
Awesome air to air shots are included in the next sequence including
P-47s coded F4. There are more low level high speed passes from a higher
elevation so you are treated to a feeling of speed and exhilaration.
There are more P-51s than I can count. I noted that the canopy framing
was painted silver and not natural metal.
The final sequence is the C-47 named “Pioneer Mustang Skyliner” with the
950 kills the unit amassed in combat. This unit was only 50 some short
of the 4th Fighter Group in Luftwaffe kills and they were only in combat
for a little a year and a half. They were finally deactivated in Mar
1946 and the DVD comes to an end.
What can I tell you about this DVD? WOW! Impressive! Great stuff! Are
some of the first things that come to mind. P-51s galore, of course,
mostly color, lots and lots of previously unknown video. What more can
you ask for? Color shots for the Luftwaffe buffs and color gun camera
footage. It is simply the best DVD I’ve had the pleasure to watch from
Victory Films. It is impressive in its scope and documentation. If you
need inspiration for a modeling project this will be all you’ll need.
This DVD contains more Mustangs than you will find anywhere. Buy this
DVD and you’ll have hours of inspiration and enjoyment.
This DVD is typical of the quality historical video I’ve come to expect
from Victory Films. They present a unique war time view of the conflict.
I highly Recommend
this title and the rest of the series. Great research material, color
and B&W film makes these DVDs a great value for the money.
You can get a copy
from Wade Meyers Studios online at
Don't forget to check out the wonderful artwork while your there.
Thanks to Wade Meyers and
for the review copy.
Review Copyright © 2007 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
This Page Created on 23 May, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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