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Later in WWII the Allied bombers were flying deep into Germany but suffered tremendous losses because of the lack of range the fighter escorts had. German fighters would wait beyond the range of the Allied fighters and then attack the vulnerable bombers. Once the P-51 called Mustang by the British had the Allison engine replaced with a British Merlin it possessed the high performance that had been lacking. With drop tanks the P-51 had the range to escort bombers all the way to Berlin and back.
The ML-KNIL received 40 P-51D’s during April and May of 1946. P-51D serial N3-640 was put in service with the 121 Squadron. Approximately one year later the number was changed to H-340 and in early 1949 went to the 120 Squadron to replace an old P-40. Eventually the ML-KNIL aircraft were handed over to the Indonesian Air Force (AURI) when they achieved independence. H-340 was renumbered as F-340 when it was turned over. There were several variations to these aircraft. H-322 and H-340 had blue spinners while H-307, H-309, H-319 and H-321 had red. Another difference was H-319, H-321 and H-340 had stencil style lettering while H-307 and H-309 solid lettering.