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|Pilot 2nd Lt Alva Guy Hawkins, O-431877 (survived) Zavalla, TX
Ditched May 8, 1942
After take off, the Airacobras managed to climb to 20,000' and dived into the Zero formation, initiating a dog fight that lasted approximately twenty minutes. During the combat, Hawkin's Airacobra was damaged by enemy gunfire and forced him to ditch onto the reef off Varivari Island near Caution Bay.
In total, the Americans claimed four Zeros shot down but in fact none of the attacking Zeros were lost. The Japanese claimed three Airacobras by FPO1c Mototsuna Yoshida. Three probable Airacobras were claimed by Lt. Shiro Kawai, FPO2c Seiji Ishikawa, PFO1c Toru Oshima and FPO3c Masami Arai. Afterwards, the Zeros lingered over the Port Moresby for thirty minutes longer, but when no Allied planes challenged them, they departed the area at 3:20pm and returned to Lae Airfield at 4:30pm.
Fate of the Pilot
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