TTAC’s own EIC pro tem was published in July pitting a V-6 Mustang Mayhem package against a Toyota FR-S and a used Porsche Boxster. I found myself discussing this with a car friendly, but non-gearhead boss. He asked if I knew the origin of the name. “Of course,” I replied, “It was named in a contest on Facebook.”
Well, as it turns out, there might be more to that story.
PJ O’Rourke wrote that Americans are “…the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time.” Sure, we have our issues, but when we get out of our own way, what we accomplish is amazing.
In 1945, the 8th Army Air Corps had a problem. The German Luftwaffe would not die and would come up and fight. So on April 16th, they took the fight to them. 900 fighters, including the mighty P-51 Mustang left the cold rock in the north Atlantic along with 1,200 bombers. The fighters strafed and destroyed over 750 aircraft in an event that became known as Mustang Mayhem. Among them was the 4th Fighter Group. The 4th would finish the war with over 1,000 aircraft destroyed.
Today, the 4th FG flies the F-15E “Strike Eagle” from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. An F-15 modified for a ground attack role, each F-15E carries more destructive capability than an entire squadron of B-17s in WWII.
Last year, the 4th Fighter Group remembered what Americans can do, and set about to show the world. The 4th set the ambitious goal of taxing every F-15E in their inventory, with a goal of putting 70 into the air and hitting over 1,000 simulated targets.
As a nod to their heritage they called it Mustang Mayhem.
If North Carolina had chosen April 16th 2012 to secede from the union, they would have had one of the most powerful Air Forces in the world in terms of delivering raw devastation. Because that day, ninety-eight of the meanest machines to ever spin a turbine taxied onto the runway at Seymour Johnson.
Maybe someone on Facebook had some historical knowledge and the name caught on. I think it sounds pretty cool, others aren’t sure. It’s completely possible this is all a coincidence. Regardless, if you own one of these Mustangs, enjoy it. Because when we get out of own way, we can do amazing things.