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  P-39F-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 41-7210  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
35th FS

Pilot ┬áLt. William McGovern (survived)
Force Landed  April 26, 1942
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, 8th Fighter Group, 35th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On April 26, 1942 took off from Woodstock Airfield on a ferry flight flying via Carins Airfield at 9:30am to refuel then took off again bound for Horn Island Airfield before their final leg bound for 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby.

Flying in two flights, the formation experienced bad weather. This P-40 made a force landing south of Murdoch Point near Cooktown at roughly Lat 11 58.7 Long 143 14.2. Officially, this aircraft was condemned on condemned October 31, 1944.

Fate of the Pilot
McGovern survived the landing unhurt and was later rescued.

The next day, P-40E Kittyhawk A29-69 piloted by Ellerton flipped upside down and crashed nearby while attempting to land wheels down on the same beach to render assistance to the downed American. Ellerton was trapped in the cockpit and drown from the incoming tide.

References
Oz@War - 26 April 1942 Ditching of Eleven P-39 Airacobras on Cape York in North Queensland
44 Days pages 220-222

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39
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