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  P-39K-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-4393 Tail 64
USAAF
13th AF

Pilot  2nd Lt Charles R. Dunning, O-730416 (KIA / BR) NY
Crashed  January 12, 1943
MACR  none

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

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, unit unknown. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On January 12, 1943 one of two Airacobras that took off from New Caledonia on a training flight over the central mountain range. Both were lost, this aircraft and P-39 piloted by Henderson.

Wreckage
The engine was salvaged from the crash site.

Memorials
Officially declared dead the day of the mission. Dunning is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 12 site 4573. A memorial plaque at the former town hall at Nouméa commemorates this loss. Also, the engine is displayed at the former town.

References
Joe Baugher "Bell P-39K Airacobra"
Thanks to Gordon Burket / ADF Serials for serial confirmation and Daniel Leahy for additional information
FindAGrave - Charles R Dunning (grave photo)

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Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39
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