|Pilot Captain Wyatte P. Exum (survived) Galax,VA
Force Landed May 28, 1942
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On May 28, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby at 7:50am to intercept A6M2 Zeros over Port Moresby. Climbing to 20,000' Exum dove down on a Zero, but his all his guns jammed, aside from the 30 caliber machine guns in the wings. While firing, he attempted to clear the other guns but was fired on from the rear and hit. Damaged, oil began to leak coating the canopy and the propeller was disabled. Diving, he headed for 30 Mile Drome with a Zero on his tail and bailed out at 500' while the Zero circled him as he descended in his parachute. Exum landed safely near his crashed Airacobra.
Fate of the Pilot
reached the ground safely unhurt and returned returned to duty.
Note, wartime references list his first name as both "Wyatte" and "Wyatt".
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39 Airacobra piloted by Exum
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information
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January 5, 2018