Dave Saxton wrote:For many years I knew a person that flew P-51's in combat in the ETO. He told me once that he originally hoped to get assigned to Jugs. He said his desire to fly Jugs was extreme as he thought them the ultimate at the time, plus it was considered "life insurance" among the young pilots. He finished up his advanced training in P-40's in Florida and then transfered to NY state to check out in both the P-47 and the P-38. He was assigned to a P-38 Group in the 8th and was very dissapointed about not getting assigned to a P-47 Group. After crossing the pond, his Group was changing from P-38's to P-51's. He told me that he very quickly got over his dissapointment about missing out on flying Jugs. He remained a strong P-51 devote for the rest of his life. When ever I would bring up any other fighter planes, and he eventually flew most of them, he would look at me and say "your joking right?"
From my experience talking to USAAF pilots, they all were pretty particular about the aircraft they flew during the war. A pilot who flew mostly P-51's or P-47's will often state that they wouldn't fly anything else.
A friend of my family was an instructor pilot for the WASP program. He flew nearly every plane you could think during the war. He always liked the P-47 the most of the all fighters, knocked the P-51 a bit but I think thats cause he had a problem with Chuck Yeager. His favorite airplane was a little trainer aircraft, that he said was great to just fly around in. Though he wasn't a combat pilot so he was just talking about having fun and general flying abilities of different aircraft.