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  P-39F-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 41-7216  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
80th FS

Pilot  Lt. Yundt (survived)
Force landed  May 1, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, NY. Constructors Number 15-555. 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, 80th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
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. Love. The formation was led by P-39F "Erminie" 41-6951 piloted by Lt. Falletta, P-39F 41-7215 piloted by Lt. Harvey, this aircraft and P-39F piloted by Love.

Flying northward, the formation made a refueling stop at Cooktown Airfield, then encounted 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.

The other Airacobras attempted to force land on a nearby beach. Yundt managed to force land successfully and was unhurt.

Wreckage
Wreckage remains on the beach, near P-39F piloted by Love.

References
Richard Rudd adds:
"Lt Yundt's P-39, nearby had constuctors No 15-555 if I remember correctly. Ian Wright has that data plate."
Thanks to Richard Rudd for additional information.

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39
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