Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Operated from New Guinea. Abandoned at Tadji Airfield.
Until 1974, this aircraft remained in situ.
Salvaged in 1974 by Charles Darby and Monty Armstrong during a
salvage operation for David Tallichet / Yesterday's Air
Force (MARC). Transported to the United States.
Stored at Chino Airport during the 1970s, location today unknown.
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 57 (lower)
"P-39Q 42-20339 of the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, was abandoned at Tadji when the unit requipped. The Airacobra was built like a battleship, and little remained above the "keel" after the nose gun bay covers, cockpit doors and engine cowls were removed. The P-39 was more susceptible to corrosion than its counterpart the P-40, particularly in the highly stressed A-Frame behind the cockpit, and as the author found to his cost, was very much more difficult to dismantle because of inaccessible attachment bolts."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39Q Airacobra 42-20339
Thanks to Charles Darby for additional information
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June 29, 2019