Mormon Mustang - Pioneering History by Trenton Hill

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Color pencil and pencil on 100lb. Smooth Bristol acid free paper; original is 14×17 and is sprayed with a clear lacquer to help blend and preserve color.

Re-do of “Mormon Mustang”. Make sure you see the video!

Brigadier General Roland R. Wright grew up on a farm in Blackfoot, Idaho. He remembers at a young age looking to the sky at the birds and having a strong desire to fly. When he was 14 years old, barnstormers came to town offering anyone a flight for 10 dollars. Young Roland scraped his money together and was able to take his first flight. From then on, he had a burning desire to become a fighter pilot.
Before pursuing his dream as a fighter pilot he decided he should first serve God as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints in the Northern States Mission. Toward the end of his mission, Roland Wright heard of the bombing at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and recognized the need for enlisted men. He still had his dream of becoming a pilot; upon returning home he enlisted.
Because of this strong desire to continue missionary work, he decided to place the words “Mormon Mustang” on the fuselage of each of his P-51 Mustang planes. The plane represents, like qualities of a good missionary, strength, stamina and endurance.
One of many things that Mormons are associated with other than missionary work is the pioneering migration of a religious people during the mid 1800’s. Mormons were kicked out from one town to another back east; and so it was decided they would move West in search for their own space and land they could call there own. Brigham Young, President of the church at that time raised himself from his sick bed from the back of the wagon and looking out across the desolate Utah Valley declared “This is the place”. Today Salt Lake City and the Greater Utah area is a thriving metropolis with lush green mountains, clear blue lakes, rivers and streams. A far cry from what the earlier pioneers seen or what could ever be imagined.
Like the Mormon Pioneers, The Mustang evolved into one of the all time great fighters of WWII. North American pioneered the laminar wing to reduce drag and increase strength. They also listened to pilots to understand what they needed to help give them the edge in a dogfight with the enemy. Later models such as the D-model would include a bubble top canopy which would give the pilot superior vision all around his aircraft.
Adored by many pilots and commanders the P-51 was even used in Korea as a ground attack aircraft, a role it was not really good at, given the location of it’s cooling system on the bottom of the fuselage. It was the only airplane that inspired the thought; “If one P-51 is good, two P-51’s would be great!” And so was born the P-82 or F-82, which was used with great success as night fighters during the Korean War.
To this day, modified P-51’s continue to break speed records for propeller driven aircraft, the F-16 jet fighter can trace some of it’s design and concept for a dogfighter back to the P-51 Mustang, a true pioneering aircraft.


mormon mustang, mormon, mustang, p 51, 357th, fighter, warbird, aviation, military, missionary


  • Woodie
    Woodieover 3 years ago

    Another great piece of art work Trenton.
    The Mustang was first ordered for the RAF, and fitting the RR Merlin engine and Spitfire bubble canopy turned it into the best bomber escort going.
    Cheers Neil

  • Thanks Neil,
    The RAF wanted North American to build P-40’s, but North American told the RAF they could build a new fighter. To the RAF’s credit they agreed. The first engine installed was made by Allison and was great at lower levels but suffered at high altitudes. Contrary to popular belief the marriage of the RR Merlin was not exclusively a British idea. The real reason was expediency. Merlin’s were a proven design and powering some of the best warplanes at the time. Packard obtained license to build the Merlin, but made them better using silver/lead alloy for the main bearings, exhuast vlaves were made of 80% nickel and 20% chromium alloy. These two items increased the engine life and durability. But, the real key was the Wright-designed two-speed supercharger. This is what gives the Mustang it’s distinct sound. You can hear it on the video. Canopies on the P-51B and C were far different than the D model. A few Malcom hoods were installed in the field to the B and C models to help increase the field of view. But the D model canopy was a direct result of the research that developed the plastic bombardier’s nose on aircraft such as the B-17. Along with the new canopy design came the wind screen to help with forward visibilty while taxing. Agreed, all these little changes (I could go on!) made the P-51 the best bomber escort bar nun. Thanks again for commenting, and I am sorry I rambled on a bit. Cheers!!!!

    – Trenton Hill

  • Woodie
    Woodieover 3 years ago

    Thanks for all the extra info. I did try to keep my comments short !!!!LOL
    Regards Neil

  • LOL!!!!!!!

    – Trenton Hill

  • wolfman1
    wolfman1over 3 years ago

    Not only is the art work incredible, I love the pioneering theme incorporated together. This definitely brings out two great pieces of American History that is slowly being forgotten. Fantastic!

  • Thanks Lance!!! I meet the pilot this Wednesday to sign my orginial for me,

    – Trenton Hill

  • Mary Sedici
    Mary Sediciover 3 years ago

    Featured Work MARCH 31st, 2011

    Your participation with works/votes it is greatly appreciated

  • Thank you for the feature Mary!! :o)

    – Trenton Hill

  • Phillip Weyers
    Phillip Weyersover 2 years ago

    Beautiful stuff… and a great message.

  • Hey Mister Phillip, thanks!!! General Wright was awesome to talk with, sharp as a tack. He actually signed my original drawing on his birthday. He turned 92!

    – Trenton Hill

  • Phillip Weyers
    Phillip Weyersover 2 years ago

    Saw the video also and he is a wonderful guy… reminds me a lot of Elder Tiejen who is serving a mission here at the moment, he and his wife (also serving) come from Rexburg. Served my mission in the Idaho area too about 30 years ago so I have a warm spot in my heart for the people of Idaho.

  • I was born and raised in Pocatello Idaho! Small world Brother Weyers! Served my mission in the Philippines and we had couple of guys from Australia. One of my son’s friends is there in Aussey land. I have always wanted to visit. It’s in my bucket list.

    – Trenton Hill

  • Phillip Weyers
    Phillip Weyersover 2 years ago

    Pocatello… one of my areas was Chubbuck, we lived in the basement of the dentist there, I have fond memories of the membership there. Brother Holliday had served his mission in Australia so we got on great, and I was pleased to be involved with the Mormon Pioneer parade while I was there… all good memories of the wonderful folk in Idaho. Cheers Trenton, a pleasure to know you.

  • Like wise Phil!

    – Trenton Hill

  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtover 2 years ago

    Congratulations!! You have been featured in the Cee’s Fun Vintage Transportation group (clickable banner)

    Please check out our Challenges

  • Thanks a bunch Cee!!!!!!!

    – Trenton Hill

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