General Anderson flew three different P-51B model Mustangs during his first combat tour during World War II. During his second tour, he flew a P-51D model which was his favorite to fly. The P-51D model featured six 50-caliber machine guns and the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine which improved performance and handling. This powerful new engine provided 1,490 horsepower and could generate over 440 miles per hour top speed.
All of the aircraft General Anderson flew during his military career were named and painted “Old Crow.” Unlike other young World War II pilots of the time, he did not name his plane after his wife or girlfriend because he was single at the time. Instead, Anderson named his aircraft after the cheapest bourbon whiskey brand available at the time, Old Crow. Anderson charmingly recollects, “For all of my church-going friends, I told them that “Old Crow” was named after the smartest bird in the sky. But all my drinking buddies knew that it was named after that smooth Kentucky whiskey.”
Brigadier General Bud Anderson is a friend and supporter of the Aerospace Museum of California. Many artifacts such as his World War II leather helmet, service uniform, and other personal items are on display in the Museum gallery. Be sure to stop by the Museum’s Old Crow Cafe named in honor of Bud Anderson’s P-51 Mustang. The cafe features art, artifacts, and memorabilia related to General Anderson’s service during World War II.
Bud turned 100 on January 13, 2022 and is the highest scoring living US Fighter Ace and the only surviving US Triple Ace. There are now only 14 living US Fighter Aces out of 1,447 recognized US Fighter Aces.
Bud Anderson has inspired millions of people through his perseverance, heroic flying experiences, his honor, integrity, service and commitment to our community and country. He is one of the finest fighter pilots who ever flew, a living legend who is proud to have served his country. He inspires young people to set ambitious goals, to work hard to achieve them and he encourages them to “Live their dreams”.
Let’s honor our great American hero and ensure his legacy endures and continues to inspire future generations.
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