US Naval Aviation Training Division

North American Mustang P-51 World War 2 US airplane

Aeroplane identification poster, 1943


A particularly unusual style of aeroplane identification poster, owing to the very arty images. Most such posters rely on very plain silhouettes, this series – and we have several in this series (click here) – have a much more arty approach to the task with shading and an interesting angle view.

The Mustang is a long-range single-seat fighter/fighter-bomber that saw service during both the Second World War and Korean War. It was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation when they were commissioned to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under licence for the British Royal Air Force. Rather than build an old design, they designed this new aeroplane; the prototype was rolled out 102 days after the contract was signed. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine over 15,000 were built with their most important role being escorting bombers over Germany. During World War II Mustang pilots accounted for a claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft. Today many survive and are a very popular ‘warbird’.

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