|Pilot John Van Kuren "Scarsdale" Newkirk (MIA / KIA) Scarsdale, NY
Crashed March 24, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Manufacture number 15968. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AM515, Assigned to the Chinese Air Force (CAF), American Volunteer Group (AVG), 2nd Squadron. Tail number P-8196. Fuselage number 34. No known nose art or nickname.
One of four P-40s from the 2nd Squadron that took off on a morning mission towards Chiang Mai, following the main railroad line in search of targets to strafe. Over Lamphun, anti-aircraft guns opened fire. This P-40 was hit while diving and Newkirk was killed in the crash near Lamphun City.
Newkirk's remains were buried at the crash site. Afterwards, the wreckage was collected by Thai people and transported to the Lamphun police station and later to Chiang Mai.
Postwar, Newkirk's remains were recovered by a Thai-American team. On May 11, 1949 interred at the St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Scarsdale, NY in the family's plot.
Warbird Forum - Jack Newkirk killed in Thailand, March 1942
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May 21, 2018