|Pilot Lt. Winfield E. McIntyre (survived)
Crashed June 4, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructors Number 13472. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40E Warhawk Serial Number 40-598.
Assigned to the 11th Air Force, 343rd Fighter Group, 11th Fighter Squadron. Tail number "98" (last two digits of the serial number)
. This aircraft had a vertical white line painted on the tail and on the fuselage behind the cockpit. No known nickname or nose art. US star insignia had a red dot in the center.
On June 4, 1942 took off from Umnak Airfield (Fort Glenn, Otter Point) on Umnak
Island to intercept Japanese aircraft after they bombed Dutch
Harbor and were regrouping over Umnak Pass, including D3A Vals led by Lt. Zenji Abe and A6M2 Zeros from Junyō commanded
by Lt. Yoshio Shiga. A total of four Vals and a Zero were lost, and two P-40s.
During the combat, McIntyre's P-40 was set on on fire
by an attacking A6M2 Zero, and attempted to dive to put out the fire. Instead, he force landed with the landing gear down and ground
looped upside down when the wingtip buried into the ground. McIntyre survived the landing and was later rescued. This P-40 was the first combat loss of the 11th Air Force. Officially, condemned on July 3, 1942.
After the crash, US Army personnel visited the wreckage and salvaged usable parts including the tail section and the wing 50 caliber machine guns.
The rest of the wreckage remained 'in situ' until September 1999. The white paint over the red dot at the center of the US Star had faded away, revealing the early US Star marking below.
Whitham Reeves adds:
"I knew about it in the late 1950s and it certainly was known by just
about anyone who flew in the area after WWII."
Ted Spencer adds:
"I first saw this wreck in 1980, it is located on Fish & Wildlife land and special permission was required from the native people to visit it. Next, I visited in 1999 with Don Robinson."
An illegal recovery of this wreck was first attempted by Paul Fox of the "American Veterans Memorial Museum" of Denver, CO who recovered portions of the wreck, but abandoned them at the site, when the authorities were alerted, and was later fined for damages caused.
After twenty years of petitioning, planning and permits, a proposal to salvage this wreckage for the Alaskan
Aviation Heritage Museum. The project was sponsored by Alaska Senator Ted Steven, using US Coast Guard and US Army resources and personnel as part of their training program.
During September 1999, a U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter flew two US Army riggers from the Chinook helicopter unit in Fairbanks (Fort Wainwright) to rig the wreckage. The aircraft was turned over after being upside down for 56 years The engine was detached from the firewall and flown to Umnak Airfield on the first flight. One the second flight the airframe was moved to Umnak returning the aircraft to its former airfield.
In 2000, the wreckage was airlifted by two Alaska US Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopters to Unalaska / Dutch Harbor and packed into a C-130 Hercules to be finally transported to Anchorage to the Alaskan
Aviation Heritage Museum.
One of the museum volunteers was given permission to work on restoring the fuselage section. Further details on the restoration are unknown.
McIntyre retired from the U. S. Air Force (USAF) with the rank of Major. He passed away in 1980 and is buried at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Fayetteville, NY.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40E 40-598
"598 shot down Umnak Island Jun 4, 1942. Pilot OK. Aircraftcondemned Jul 3, 1942."
FindAGrave - Maj Winfield E. McIntyre, Sr (photo, grave photo)
The Thousand-Mile War page 50, 453 (index)
(Page 50) "... Lieutenant Winfield E. McIntyre
tried to break away from another pursuing Zero. The Zero's guns knocked ot McIntyre's engine and set it afire. McIntryre put the ship into a screaming dive, trying to blow out the fire; he could not get the engine restarted, and almost went into a spin before he glided to a crash-landing on the Umnak beach. He put the burning P-40 down so skillfully that he climbed out of it and walked unaided into camp."
FlyPast "From Warhawk to Jayhawk" February 1999
"Down but not forgotten" by PAC Tod A. Lyons
Thanks to Ted Spencer for additional information.
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January 5, 2018