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Comment on P-51 Mustang- John Landers, 357th FG "Big Beautiful Doll"
 
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P-51 Mustang- John Landers, 357th FG "Big Beautiful Doll" . Perhaps one of the most well known of the Mustangs, “Big Beautiful Doll” was piloted by Lt. Col John Landers, an incredible flier by all accords. Landers began his career in 1942, flying P-40s with the 9th Pursuit Squadron in the Pacific. Landers destroyed 6 Japanese aircraft, and returned home in early 1943 a battle hardened ace. After training in P-38s, Landers joined the 39th FS in April 1944, where he got a few more kills in the “fork tailed devil” as it was known to the Luftwaffe pilots. July 1944 saw Landers join the 357th, and with this he moved to P-51 Mustangs. Landers returned to the states for a brief respite from December 1944 till February 1945. He returned to the ETO as commander of the 78th FG, a significant post for the veteran aviator. While with the 78th, he shot down 3.5 more aircraft, with the shared kill being an Me-262. When the war ended, Colonel Landers had amassed 14.5 kills, 6 in the Pacific, and 8.5 in Europe, plus one probable, and 20 aircraft destroyed on the ground. Landers was one of the few pilots to score victories in three different aircraft, the P-40, P-38, and P-51. .


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