P51 Mus­tang

The Shed - - Rural Museum -

On 22 De­cem­ber 1953, two of th­ese air­craft crashed on their way to Auckland to per­form a fly-past for the visit of the Queen and Prince Philip. Both crashed due to bad weather within a short dis­tance of each other and both pi­lots were killed. The P51 Mus­tangs were RNZAF se­rial num­bers NZ2404 and NZ2411. One crashed at the mouth of the Waipin­gau Stream, and the other across the Ton­ga­porutu River. Years later, Roger Jor­dan, one of the founders of the mu­seum, re­cov­ered what in­ter­est­ing pieces of wreck­age he could find. Most pieces were pretty small, but from down a 5m hole he re­cov­ered an un­der­car­riage leg, .5-inch cal­i­bre Brown­ing ma­chine guns, and a Packard Mer­lin en­gine. It’s be­lieved that the en­gine was prob­a­bly go­ing full noise when the plane hit the ground.

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