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  P-39K-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-4312  
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
39th FS

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via WRG 2001

Aircraft History
Built at Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the US Army on July 31, 1942, at the cost of $48,673. Disassembled and shipped overseas during August 1942 to Fiji and reassembled.

Wartime History
This Airacobra was briefly based in Fiji. Later, assigned to the 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Operated from Narewa Airfield on Woodlark Island.

Mission History
On March 18, 1943 suffered a structural failure at Narewa Airfield causing the the nose wheel to collapse, killing Sgt. Frank H. Cranston who was completing a ground check on the plane.

Wreckage
The wreckage was converted to components and parts used as spares for other aircraft.  Striped down to the fuselage and abandoned in the bone yard at Narewa Airfield. The fuselage had no engine, engine covers, cockpit doors or perspex in the canopy.

Recovery
During 1982, purchased and recovered by Robert Jarrett. Transported to Australia to the Classic Jets Museum.

Restoration
Restored for static display using the wings of P-39D 42-4368 to make a complete aircraft. Displayed at the Classic Jets Museum.

References
Joe Baugher "Bell P-39K Airacobra"
Airacobra Advantage by Rick Mitchell

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39
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