Roland Wright flew 3 different P-51s with the 357th FG. All were named "Mormon Mustang." His first Mustang is pictured above. Code C5-ZZ. Block letters were black with no trim.
Lt Roland Wright, 364th FS
On 20 January, 1945, Roland shot down an ME 262. He has given us a copy of his British Broadcasting Company (BBC) radio interview about the encounter. Click here to listen to the interview. The radio broadcast was aired by KSL Radio in Salt Lake City and a copy given to his family. The brief interview does not give all the details of the encounter and you can read Richard Peterson's account at this link. After their mission, Roland and Richard Peterson were out of fuel and had to land at a German Base. They were not sure if the base was in German control or had been taken over by the Allies. They decided Roland would clear his aircraft after landing and signal Peterson by waving his arms if the base was still under German control, Peterson then planned to destroy Roland's Mustang. After landing, a vehicle raced up to his aircraft and he discovered that the French had taken over the airfield 5 days before. There were German ME 109s still parked on the airfield. After Peterson landed, they were able to obtain fuel from some US Army units and flew back to Leiston, England, only to find the field was fogged in. They were too low on fuel to divert to another base, so Peterson escorted his flight down through the fog one at a time. Roland gives Richard Peterson full credit for saving their Mustangs. The only other alternative was to bail out. Roland received the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down the ME 262. His was the 8th ME 262 shot down during the war.
The second Mustang flown by Roland was tail number 44-14868, Code letters C5-T. This Mustang was previously flown by Richard Peterson as "Hurry Home Honey." Roland says the block letters were smaller than the first Mormon Mustang and painted in black with no trim. Assistant Crew Chief Don Roepe is next to Roland.
The third Mustang flown by Roland was 44-73219, Code letters C5-T. This one was new when he received it and the last one he flew in combat and during occupation duty after the war in Germany. The block letters were black with red and yellow trim. Ground crew on the wing with Roland are (L-R) Don Roepe, Assistant Crew Chief, Roland, Kelly Lloyd, Crew Chief and Kenny Arveson, Armorer.
P-51 restored as "Mormon Mustang" based in Provo, Utah and is owned by Gene Mallette. Roland is shown after a flight in April, 1999..
|German P-38. Roland on boom of wrecked P-38 at a remote Airfield near Fussen in Bavaria. Summer 1945||
Roland in the cockpit of the P-38
|German ME 262 Fighter like the one Roland shot down. Roland says many of these were using the autobahn as a runway near the end of the war. They would park them in revetments near the highway in the trees.||German DO-133 Push Pull Fighter. One of the latest fighters and faster than the P-51. Not very maneuverable.|
Notes from Roland Wright: All his planes had the Mormon Mustang on the left side of the aircraft only. His planes all had the silver finish. The first two had Mormon Mustang painted in black letters. The last one had black lettering with red and yellow trim.
We would like to thank General Wright for providing us with the BBC Radio interview and the great photos.
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