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  P-39 Airacobra Serial Number ?  
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
40th FS

Click For Enlargement
Frank Sabben 1973

Pilot  2nd Lt William Blin Felker, O-789012 (MIA / KIA, BR) Somerset, ME
MIA  December 3, 1942
MACR  None

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.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. No known nose number.

Mission History
On December 3, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a patrol mission over the Buna area. During the mission, this aircraft experienced engine troubles and told to fly highter. This AIracobra failed to return and was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Felker was officially declared dead on December 12, 1945. After the recovery of remains, he was buried in a private cemetery in Maine.

Wreckage
During 1973, locals recovered a pair of machine guns and belted 50 caliber and 30 caliber ammunition from the crash site plus an ID braclete. These items were transported to Kokoda and given to kiap Doug Robbins. Later, the remains were taken to the U. S. Embassy in Port Moresby.

Frank Sabben adds:
"The bullets were mostly, if not all, dated 1942. I did not see the aircraft but was told it had one engine, one cockpit and amongst the gear recovered by locals were 30cal and 50cal bullets."

References
Felker enlisted in the U. S. Army on January 12, 1942
40th Fighter / Flight Test Squadron Associate "WWII Honor Roll" [via Wayback Machine July 23, 2008]
FindAGrave - Lieut William Blin Felker (grave photo)
Thanks to Frank Sabben, Edward Rogers and Daniel Leahy for their assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Information
P-39
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