One of the very few fighter pilots in World War II to achieve the “ace” status in both the Pacific and European Theatres, Colonel John Landers is remembered as a skilled pilot and capable combat commander.
Landers served with the 49th Fighter Group, in the Pacific Theatre flying P40’s and achieving 6 victories against the Japanese. In 1944, he was sent to Europe, where he joined the 55th Fighter Group (38th Fighter Squadron) based in Duxford, England. Five more victories were credited to him during this tour, bringing his total to 11. John Landers would later become Commanding Officer of the 38th Squadron in mid 1944.
Being posted to the 8th Air Force in Europe, he flew in several units including 78th, 357th and 361st flying P-38’s and P-51’s, all of which were named “Big Beautiful Doll”. Colonel John Landers ended his flying career with 14.5 victories, 4.5 of these and an additional 20 ground victories were achieved in P-51’s.
His impressive scoreboard and nose art adorned many airframes during his career. His P-51 “Big Beautiful Doll” was one of the most colourfully painted Mustangs of that era. By utilizing the 1/48 scale Tamiya model airplane kit with aftermarket parts, such as accurate flaps, seat with seat belts, squadron canopy, canopy brace, spinner and propeller blades, I was able to successfully reproduce this marvellous piece of flying history. This is an outstanding replica of John Landers “Big Beautiful Doll”.