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  P-39F-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 41-7222  
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
40th FS

Former Assignments
8th FG

Pilot  William "Bill" Hutcheson (survived)
Crashed  June 16, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, NY. 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 and operated from Port Moresby. Next, assigned to the 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On June 16, 1942 after an 8:14am air raid alert, took off from Port Moresby at 8:20am. While switching from his belly tank to the main tank, this Airacobra was hit from behind by one or more A6M2 Zeros.

Fate of the Pilot
After bailing out into a swamp, he was strafed on the ground, but only his parachute was hit. He spent the day wandering in the bush, then used a log to float down a stream towards the coast. After arriving at a village, he borrowed a canoe and reached 30-Mile Drome during the morning of June 18.

References
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39 Airacobra 41-7222 notes pilot as 2nd Lt. Paul J. Magre
Thanks to Edward Rogers for historical details

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Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39
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