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  P-39K-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-4358 Nose 23
5th AF
35th FG
40th FS

Click For Enlargement
circa early 1943

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February 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot William F. McDonough. Nose number 23. No known nickname. Nose art was a large Walt Disney "Donald Duck" in an angle outfit on the right side of the nose. Many personnel posed with this Airacobra due to the memorable nose art. The propeller spinner and tip of the tail were painted red.

Wartime History
Operated from 12 Mile Drome near Port Moresby and later Tsilli-Tsilli Airfield flying missions over New Guinea.

On February 6, 1943 McDonough claimed two victories over Wau, possibly flying this aircraft.

Ultimate fate unknown, not lost in combat or accident, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Joe Baugher "Bell P-39K Airacobra"
40th Fighter Squadron Association Website
USAF Aerial Victory Credits - William F. McDonough
Thanks Dan Dannacher and Robert Rocker for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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