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  P-39N-5-BE "San Antonio Rose" Serial Number 42-19039  
USAAF
5th AF
71st TRG
110th TRS

Former Assignments
82nd TRS

Click For Enlargement
Phil Bradley
1995

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John Douglas 1998

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army on April 29, 1943. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia arriving on May 27, 1943 and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Nicknamed "San Antonio Rose" on the left side of the cockpit and "Jackie and Norma". Assigned to Lt. Charles W. Borders with crew chief was Sgt. Eugene F. Behnkendorf. A scoreboard was painted on the side of the nose wit six bomb insignia and one Japanese flag for a victory claim.

Wartime History
Operated from Dobodura, Finschafen, Saidor, Owi and Biak flown by Lt. Charles W. Borders, who flew 56 combat missions in this plane. Next, assigned to the 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and operated from Tadji Airfield. On May 21, 1945 stricken from service and abandoned.

Wreckage
This aircraft remained at Tadji Airfield in situ until 1967.

Recovery
During 1967 salvaged by the Goroka Branch of Air Force Association. Disassembled and loaded onto RAAF Caribou transport, and taken to Goroka, where it was initially displayed at the show grounds.  After the plane was vandalized, it was put into storage. 

Display
It was not until the early 1980's, through the efforts of volunteer Rick Giddings that it was properly mounted on a pole and displayed again at J.K. McCarty Museum.

References
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39N Airacobra 42-19039
Airacobra Advantage by Rick Mitchell and letter from Rick Giddings

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39
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