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|Pilot Lt. Walter Harvey (survived)
Force landed May 1, 1942
Built by Bell in Buffalo, NY. Constructors Number 15-554. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-39F-1-BE Airacobra serial number 41-7215. 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 1, 1942 one of six P-39s that took off from Antill Plains Airfield near Townsville on a flight bound for Port Moresby. This aircraft piloted by Lt. Harvey was flying as wingman for P-39F "Erminie" 41-6951 piloted by Lt. Falletta. The formation included also included P-39F 41-7216 piloted by Lt. Yundt and P-39F piloted by Lt. Love.
Flying northward, the formation made a refueling stop at Cooktown Airfield, then encountered a storm near Horn Island, where they planned to land at Horn Island Airfield to and refuel before the final leg of the journey to Port Moresby.
Flying in bad weather and lost in thick clouds, Lt. Falletta led the other pilots who were all inexperienced with instrument flying back to the Cape York Peninsula. Low on fuel, they searched for a suitable place to land. Lt. Faletta and wingman, Lt. Harvey chose a landing spot roughly 13-16 kilometers inland from Cape Orford Ness, near the Escape River near Weipa.
Landing wheels up, Harvey managed to land successfully and was unhurt. Nearby Faletta landed P-39F "Erminie" 41-6951 wheels down. Landing on a nearby beach was P-39F 41-7216 piloted by Yundt and P-39 piloted by Lt. Love.
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