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  P-39 Airacobra Serial Number ?  
5th AF
8th FG
36th FS

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
On May 14, 1942 took off piloted by 1st Lt. Paul G. Brown took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a mission to intercept Japanese aircraft. After climbing to intercept, the Airacobras sighted eight enemy aircraft flying in a string.

Brown intercepted this Zeros, opening fire for a second before his left wing collided with A6M2 Zero piloted by Oshima damaging the tail and causing the zero to go into a tight spiral and crash. Returning with a damaged left wingtip with traces of gray paint from the Zero.

Later, Australian Army soldiers took a piece of the Zero embedded into the Airacobra's left wingtip into a match box and presented to 1st Lt. Paul G. Brown as a souvenir.

Later, Captain Paul G. Brown went Missing In Action (MIA) piloting P-39D 41-38339 on September 25, 1942
36th Figher Squadron Diary - May 14, 1942
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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