Vernon Richards's "TIKA IV"

P-51D-5-NA #44-13357 is one of the better-known early Mustangs and was named "Tika IV" by its pilot, Lt. Vernon R. Richards of the 361st FG, 374th FS. Lt. Alfred B. Cook, Jr. was killed flying Tika IV on 16 November 1944 when it crashed near Steeple Morden.

The colour photograph that was used in the creation of this profile is another ambiguous picture. The colours are rather hard to tell. As far as I could tell, the antiglare panel was black, the wings and tail have some dark green trimming (some other artists have represented it in blue, but I just can't see that on the picture). As for the writing under the kill board, I couldn't find any details, so I put in the names of the pilot, crew chief (S/SGT Robert O. Bland), assistant CC (S/SGT Claude F. Van Pool) and armourer (CPL Herbert L. Chriss). This is probably correct, though I can't certify it.

This print is available from!


Based on the following material:

The "Tika IV" team: H. Chriss (crouching), R. Bland, V. Richards, Claude Van Pool. (Photo: Bland via




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