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  P-40E-1 "Polly" Serial Number A29-133 Code L
RAAF
75 Squadron

Former Assignments
82 Squadron
2 OTU
1 ES

Click For Enlargement
Daniel Leahy 2001

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army as serial number 41-36084. Originally intended for the Royal Air Force (RAF) but was instead disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during June 1942. Assigned from 2 Air Depot (2 AD) then to 75 Squadron with code S. Assigned to Bruce E. "Buster" Brown. Nicknamed "Polly" by Brown after his wife, with the name painted on both sides of nose below exhaust stack pilot. This P-40 operated from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby and Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip) near Milne Bay.

On August 11, 1942 this P-40 was one of twenty-two from 75 Squadron and 76 Squadron that engaged 12 A6M2 Zeros. Piloted by Brown, he was credited with one damaged Zero on that mission.

On January 17, 1943 it returned to 75 Squadron after servicing with 10 RSU. On March 10, 1943 it returned to 75 Squadron after an engine change at 12 RSU and towards the end of that month went for repairs at 10 RSU;

On June 2, 1943 at 1430hrs 12 aircraft were scrambled and during take-off F/O Paul Ernest Whitehead, 408942 noticed the starboard tire began to deflate then shred, so he accelerated and became airborne then the starboard leg collapsed. After repairs, it was returned to 75 Squadron on August 2, 1943.

On September 11, 1943 it was received by 82 Squadron. On October 17, 1943 crash landed at Bankstown Airfield (pilot unknown) and was sent to 2 AD. Afterwards, allocated to 82 Squadron then 2 OTU then 1 ES.

Postwar
Officially stricken on February 9, 1949. Disposed or sold, and left derelict in Melbourne. Acquired by Nelson R. Wilson who was the owner during 1960-1992. Registered as VH-NRW and placed under restoration, with hopes of restoring to airworthy condition.

Display
Later, acquired by Australian War Memorial (AWM) and restored to static display. Today, in Bradbury Aircraft Hall. A portion of the original rudder fabric is also part of their collection REL20242-001.

Memorials
Former pilot Bruce "Buster" Brown passed away in August 2005.

References
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-133

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-40
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