Even test flights could be hazardous, as Lt. Barry R. Hicks of the 374th found out on 21 July 1944, while checking out Capt. George R. Rew’s personal P-51B “Scarlet Kate”, 42-106763, B7:R. (See Photo 9, 374FS Gallery) Climbing to 25,000 feet, Lt. Hicks applied full throttle with maximum R.P.M. but, seconds later, the engine failed. With smoke filling the cockpit, Hicks baled out at 19,000 feet, leaving the stricken fighter to explode on the ground. (Pearce)