1974 via J. Cockayne
Justin Taylan 2000
|Pilot 1st Lt. William F. Haning, O-428817 (survived)
Force Landed November 17, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructor Number E11273. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. On August 8, 1942 Alison engine serial number
41-36429 was installed from P-40E 41-5620. That same day, pilot 1st Lt. William F.
Haning Jr. was assigned to P-40E 41-36157. This P-40 operated from Darwin, Port
Moresby and Milne
On November 17, 1942 took off on an escort mission protecting C-47 transports flying to Pongani Airfield. On the return flight, due to bad weather, P-40E 41-24821 piloted by Lt Finberg and this P-40 piloted by William Haning overshot Port
Moresby. Low on fuel and lost, they force landed near Hood Point. On the ground,
the Haning fired his guns to keep the locals away from the aircraft, because he
fear it might catch fire after the landing. Haning was unhurt in the landing.
Fate of the Pilot
Afterwards, Haning was transported to Port
Moresby and returned to his squadron by
November 22, 1942.
Until 1974, this aircraft remained in situ four miles northeast of Kalo village near Hood Point.
On November 8, 1974 the fuselage was recovered by Monty Armstrong, who claimed permission to salvage the aircraft from William Chapman of the Air Museum of PNG. The salvage was funded by David Tallichet / Yesterday's Air Force (MARC). It was arranged that this aircraft would be shipped to the United States, restored and returend to Papua New Guinea. Instead, the fuselage was never delivered to Tallichet / Yesterday's Air Force. The whereabouts of the fuselage are unknown and it was never returned
to Papua New Guinea.
Charles Darby adds:
"Near the end of the 1974 Tallichet recovery operations, I visited Hula with Monty Armstrong to plan its recovery. That appeared to be an easy task as the aircraft was in good condition, close to a road, and on flat grassland, hence I decided to go looking for a B-26 in the Northern District and left Monty to recover the P-40. I never saw it again, and I returned to New Zealand soon thereafter. I am certain that the fuselage of 41-36166 was not in that shipment to Auckland, as I was present on the wharf when each container was first opened and took part in the immediate on-site unloading and steam-cleaning of all of their contents." [Read Complete Comments]
On November 10, 1984 the wing section was
recovered by the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF) by S/L Eric Lundberg
on behalf of the PNG
National Museum. When lifted, 50 caliber shell cases were found underneath the aircraft,
while on the
Bruce Hoy recalls:
"Bill Chapman [Air Museum of Papua New Guinea]
thought the entire aircraft had been recovered as part of the arrangement.
He was aware of the fuselage
coming into town, as his truck was used, and I saw it parked in
his front yard. The engine was also recovered and was not intended to
go to the States. However, the prop and spinner was subsequently removed
(by Armstrong?) and I never saw them again. It wasn't until Lew
Moderate who owned the farm asked him (Bill) when he was going to get the
wings, that was when Bill learned that the complete aircraft had not been
recovered. He subsequently enquired from Tallichet as to the whereabouts
of the fuselage and was told it never turned up in California.
Your guess where it did end up would be as good as mine. Perhaps the Land
of the Long White Cloud? That is where a P-39 from the same era
ended up, with Armstrong swearing black and blue that he had the rights
to that one, but I never saw anything to that effect from Treasury files.
If he applied for recovery rights, it was done so on behalf of
Yesterdays Air Force, and in agreement with Chapman."
Since November 1984, the wing section was displayed at the PNG
Museum. During 2001, the wing section was exported by Robert Greinert / HARS and shipped to Australia.
In Australia the wings
were either sold, traded or "donated" to Graham Smith in South Australia as the basis of a restoration
project. Whereabouts today unknown.
Bob Haning (2nd cousin)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-40 Kittyhawk 41-5620 (sic) piloted by 1st Lt. William F. Hanning Jr.
History 49th FG: This aircraft had been escorting Australian Beaufighters on a mission to Zaka near Morobe when bad weather caused the pilot to become lost on the return flight, subsequently running out of gasoline and making a safe crash-landing.
Protect & Avenge on
Thanks to Bob Haning, Craig Busby, Charles Darby, Bruce Hoy
and Michael Claringbould for information on this
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
May 22, 2017
Recovery Notes by Charles Darby
Research Notes by Craig Busby