|Pilot Lt. Marion Hawke (KIA, BR) Curtis, NB
Crashed February 25, 1944
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructors Number 29068. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N-5-CU Warhawk serial number 42-105306. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Squadron.
No known nickname or nose art.
On February 25, 1944 took off from Iron Range Airfield piloted by Lt. Marion Hawke. Suffered an accident with P-47D Thunderbolt 42-22973. Pilot Hawke was killed. Afterwards, this P-40 was officially condemned on March 2, 1944.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, Hawke's remains were recovered and buried in Australia. Postwar, his remains were exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Hawke is buried at
Riverside Cemetery in Gibbon, Nebraska at Graceland lot 742.
Until 1973, this aircraft remained in situ at Iron Range Airfield.
During 1973, recovered Iron Range, possibly by Dick Hourigan of Melbourne. During 1991, this P-40 was acquired by Charles Darby from either Dick Hourigan or Graham Hoskings, both of Melbourne. Other owners included Judy Pay.
This P-40 was restored by Pioneer Aero Restorations Ltd to flying condition with over 10,000 hours and several years of restoration work. A second seat for a passenger was added, converting it into a two seat TP-40N Warhawk.
Purchased by Chris Prevost of Vintage Aircraft. On July 20, 2004 registered to Hawks Zero Q3 LLC as N540TP. Painted in the markings of P-40N Warhawk with nose number 21 and Lt. R. Melikian with three Japanese flags on the left side of the cockpit. On January 1, 2009 this P-40 made a sucessful first flight in the United States. In attendance was Ray Melikian. This aircraft is valued at approximately $2.5 million USD.
Note, some sources list the date of this crash as late February or March 1, 1944
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40N-5-CU Warhawk 42-105306
"Pacific Aircraft Ltd. The P-40 People" by Charles Darby
Warbirds International, December 1985 page 16-25
Fighter Takes Flight Press Democrat January 30, 2009
FAA Registry -
FindAGrave - Marion Hawke (obituary, grave photo)
"The Golden Record, Volume 2, page 47 via Gibbon Public Library: Lt. Marion Hawke, son of Mrs. Ella Hawke, was killed in a plane crash at Queensland, Australia on February 25, 1944. After completing his pilot training in the United States, he left here last June 28th for the Southwest Pacific area and had been flying a two motored bomber. The letter received here from the Pacific Area read as follows: 'My deepest sympathy goes to you in the death of your son, First Lt. Marion Hawk. Your consolation for his loss may be that he died in the service of our country in a cause, which, with victory, will give freedom from oppression to all peoples.' Signed: Very Faithfully, Douglas McArthur. The message from Washington D.C. stated that he was killed in a plane crash with explanation to follow. Marion was born at Curtis, Nebraska December 10, 1923 and departed this life on February 25, 1944. He spent most of his life in Gibbon, coming here when in the second grade in school and graduating from Gibbon in 1940. In December of that year he joined the National Guards and took training in Little Rock, Arkansas. When the war came he was sent to the west coast where he joined the Army Air Corps. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on May 20, 1943 and left for overseas duty. He was sent into combat service as pilot on a B-25 bomber. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant at Christmas time. He leaves his mother, Mrs. Ella Hawke, 3 sisters: Jessie, Blanche, and Marie and 2 brothers, Alva and Homer. Memorial services were held in Gibbon Baptist Church."
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November 14, 2018