The Mustang fighter that became the first fighter to accompany bombers to Berlin in World War Two was the fortuitous combination of North American airframe and Rolls Royce powerplant.
The RNZAF received 30 Mustangs in late 1945 of what would have been 370 replacements for the Corsairs then operational in the RNZAF. War’s end led to the cancellation of the remainder, and the activation of the aircraft in 1951 for the Territorial Airf Force. ZK-TAF present today was imported into New Zealand from the United States by Tim Wallace and painted as NZ2145, a machine with the TAF at Wigram. ZK-TAF has returned the distinctive Merlin sound to air show crowds. The aircraft moved from the Alpine Fighter Collection to ownership in Auckland with Warbirds, the former organisation have since obtained another.