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P-40E Warhawk 41-36166 Research Notes
Research by Craig Busby

Its engine serial number 41-36429, which was installed 41-5620 on August 8, 1942. However, #620 was lost later in the war - so this is NOT correct serial for the aircraft, engine changes were common.

The serial number of the Allison engine of Hanning's P-40E was 41-36429 - installed in P-40E 41-5620 as of August 8, 1942 William F Hanning Jr assigned to P-40E 41-36157 as of same date.

The number mentioned on your site is something called a Curtiss Sequence Number. Curtiss used the standard USAAF serials for sending the aircraft to the USAAF, the Curtiss Manufacture number was normally a 5 digit number allocated to aircraft, but they used a Customer Sequence Number to track aircraft down the construction process and to write the number of aircraft built against a Country Order (one of the reasons type is so important). This number you will find on all the TAGs on an individual airframe and on the left lower longeron (although this is hand stamped not a tag), normally with the Type stamped in front of the actual Sequence number, so in this case the aircraft is a P-40E-1CU with the Sequence Number of 1273. Normally a tag will read P-40E1 1025 (a Russian Example) , but I have found cases (such as a couple of other Russian aircraft) that just have the type E1 then the number (ie E11125 another Russian aircraft)hence in this case E11273 would mean the 1273 aircraft built against an country order.

Now in the case of the British Order 560 aircraft were built against order for 560 Hawk 87A-1 aircraft these being Sequence 1-560. The P-40E-1 were built more aircraft against a British Order under Defence Aid contract No.3 or DA-3. In order to maintain the numbers Curtiss started the sequence number at 561 (confirmed by Curtiss records I have). Hence ET100 was 561 in Sequence. When the US were pulled into the War they took over a number of aircraft of this contract as you probably already know. The only problem with these Sequence Numbers (and only pertains to the P-40E and E-1 type aircraft), is that there can be two of the same number as the USAAF ordered their own contracts and Curtiss started their numbers at 1 as well going through to 870 so sometimes there is some confusion (in these cases the TAGS are really important as the US aircraft only have P-40E on the tags).

Chasing the records I show 1273 pertains to aircraft 41-36166 (as there were only 870 P-40E's it cannot be an E, thus making it an E-1). This aircraft was RAF serial ET812 and was actually being shipped to the RAF (not taken over by the USAAF), and was diverted by the RAF to Australia.

It was accepted by the USAAF (for record keeping as per Lend Lease requirements) 26 Mar 1942, and shipped to St Johns to be shipped onwards to the RAF. It was sent to Australia on the SS Aspasia Nimikou departing 24 Apr 1942, and arrived in Sydney Docks 8 Jun 1942. As far as I can tell the aircraft was issued to the 9FS/49FG as an attrition replacement sometime late Jun early Jul 1942, and was marked with the number #80 and is believed to have been flown by Lt Kruzel in the Darwin Region.

It was then transferred with the Unit to PNG, and was lost 17 Nov 1942, when on an Escort Mission to C-47 aircraft that were going to an advanced strip north of Pongani (Ref Protect and Avenge 49FG book). Although the outbound escort had no problems, on the return and due to bad wx 2 of the aircraft overshot Port Moresby and were force to belly land at Point Hood after fuel shortage.

Now the bad new, I have been unable to find out if the pilot was indeed Bill Hanning, as the other aircraft was lost in the same region (and very close to Hanning's) was being flown by Lt F Finberg.

Hope this all explains enough for you. As stated before, if you can keep the details above to yourself, as it has taken me a large amount of time, effort and money to fix the Curtiss Sequence numbers and the History of individual airframes, although I have no problem with you adding just the serial number to you site, and the details of the last sortie.

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