North American F-82 Twin Mustang (all Japan-based)

            The North American F-82 Twin Mustang was a two-seat, twin-engine, long-range, all-weather fighter used by the US Air Force during the Korean War.  Despite the P-51ís exceptional range the US desired a fighter with even longer range for use in the Pacific theater.  The Twin Mustang was, basically, two Mustangs joined together by special center sections and could be flown from either seat.  The Twin Mustang appeared too late to see combat during World War Two.  Only twenty were built by the end of the war.

            The F-82G was powered by two 1,600-hp engines giving it a maximum speed of 461 mph.  It was armed with six 0.50-inch machine-guns, and it could carry up to 4,000 lbs. of external ordnance.  Only about 300 F-82s were ever built.

            When the Korean War started the US Far East Air Force had 32 operational F-82s serving with three squadrons, two in Japan and one in Okinawa.  F-82s were some of the first US aircraft to fly into combat over Korea, and an F-82 of the 68th Fighter All-Weather Squadron was the first US aircraft to shoot down a North Korean plane.

            The F-82 provided excellent service during the first weeks of the Korean War, but it was withdrawn from combat as there were serious shortages of spare parts, and the few available Twin Mustangs (there were only 168 total in USAF service in June 1950) were more needed in the all-weather and night-fighter role.