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  P-39D-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 41-38402  
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
41st FS

Pilot  2nd Lt Richard D. Kimball, O-661329 (survived)
Crashed  April 12, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 41st Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On April 12, 1943 took off from Port Moresby to intercept attacking Japanese aircraft. Shot down to the north of Port Moresby. Kimball bailed out and became tangled in a tree, until friendly natives assisted him. He returned to his squadron eight days later.

Fighter Cover, May 16, 1943:
"On landing, his parachute became tangled in a tree, and he hung there, trapped and helpless until friendly natives came to his rescue. For eight days, he walked up and down the mountains, guided by the natives who made it a practice not to follow along streams or level terrain."

References
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39D Airacobra 42-38402
41st FS History
"Fighter Cover" May 16, 1943 for account of Kimball's return
Last Major Japanese Air Raid Over Port Moresby Operation I-Go: April 12, 1943

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39

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