When you realize that a P-51D is also known as an F-51D sometimes.
P = "Pursuit"
F = "Fighter"
And I thought that someone else was confused!
IIRC, there was a great renaming when some brass (or perhaps a congressman) ended up looking stupid in front of congress because he didn't know that two different designations were actually the same aircraft. They renamed all the designations to be the same across all branches using the same standard. Hence, we have the P-51 during WWII, and the F-51 during Korea.
Wasn't it changed in 1948 after USAAF became USAF? Anyway the Navy used its own system until 1962, where F4F was a different aircraft than a F4U, but a F3A and FG-1 were F4Us... (F4F = Grumman Wildcat, F4U = Vought Corsair, FG-1 and F3A = Corsairs made by Goodyear and Brewster under license)
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