With its long-distance range and highflying dogfighting abilities, the P-51 Mustang was designed to dominate the skies and help end World War II. And it did. Take flight on an aircraft that symbolized the power and romance of the fighter, a plane that continues to stun and amaze today. We track the history of this nimble, robust Air Warrior, from its international origins to the challenges it overcame in the battle for air superiority over Europe, captured through compelling firsthand testimony and rarely seen combat footage.
Suffering unprecedented losses by 1944, the US Air Force's daylight bombing campaign over Nazi occupied Europe was in danger of collapse. A fighter escort was needed–and urgently. North America's P-51 was originally built for Britain's RAF. Now fitted with the Packard Merlin it was drafted in and immediately made a difference. Taking on the worst that the Luftwaffe had to offer the Mustang fighter pilots of the 8th Air Force dramatically turned the tide of the air war in Europe earning themselves the nickname 'Little Friends'.