The North American F-82 Twin Mustang was the last American piston-engine fighter ordered into production by the United States Air Force. Based on the P-51 Mustang, the F-82 was originally designed as a long-range escort fighter in World War II.
The war ended well before the first production units were operational.
In the postwar era, Strategic Air Command used the planes as a long-range escort fighter. Radar-equipped F-82s were used extensively by the Air Defense Command as replacements for the Northrop P-61 Black Widow as all-weather day/night interceptors. During the Korean War, Japan-based F-82s were among the first USAF aircraft to operate over Korea. The first three North Korean aircraft destroyed by U.S. forces were shot down by F-82s, the first being a North-Korean Yak-11 downed over Gimpo Airfield by the USAF 68th Fighter Squadron.
Designed to provide the US forces with long range escort capabilities over the Pacific, the F-82 bore the appearance of desperate measures taken to use surplus P-51 parts. In reality, the F-82 was purposely designed as such in order to provide a fighter plane that had fresh pilots ready to engage, despite the tedious nature of long distance flights. Each fuselage carried a pilot and a co-pilot/navigator which reduced individual fatigue over long missions.
The F-82 started development in 1944, with significant deliveries done in early 1946. Although too late for the war, the fighter still saw extensive use by Air Defense Command as an escort fighter and a night fighter. 14 F-82's were converted to winterized interceptors for use over Alaska. It saw significant use in the Korean War with Japanese based (US planes deployed from Japan) F-82s among the first aircraft to operate over Korea.
#Mile99 - Today we remember Airman First Class Matthew R. Seidler; born on January 3, 1988 in Westminster, Maryland and graduated from Westminster High School in 2006. He enlisted in the Air Force and successfully completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in 2009. From there, he attended and graduated from Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal in December 2010. He was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Flight at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado where he immediately began training to attain his journeyman qualification. Airman Seidler deployed to Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan as part of the 466 EOD Flight, Operating Location Delta in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While operating in the Shrigazi Province, he and his Air Force team cleared lines of communication, enabled freedom of maneuver, and ensured the safety of coalition and local nationals by engaging and defeating the enemy’s weapon of choice: the Improvised Explosive Device. Seidler is survived by his parents Marc and Lauren Seidler and his older brother Justin.
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