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  P-40E-1 Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-150 Code IP
RAAF
76 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
c1943

Pilot  S/Ldr Keith William "Bluey" Truscott, 400213 (KIA, BR) South Yarra. VIC
Crashed  March 28, 1943


Pilot History
Truscott played 44 games for Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL), including their 1939 and 1940 Premierships. He enlisted in the RAAF and flew Spitfires with 452 Squadron in Europe. Afterwards, he was assigned to 76 Squadron and participated in the defense of Milne Bay.

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army as serial number 41-36249. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during August 1942. Assigned to 76 Squadron on September 3, 1942 with code IP. No known nickname or nose art.

On September 7, 1942 took off from Milne Bay piloted by Sgt Carroll on a mission to attack Japanese shipping off Normanby Island.

On November 4, 1942 while landing, suffered a collision that damaging the starboard wing and propeller. The damaged was repaired and returned to duty on December 23, 1943.

On March 13, 1943 took off piloted by F/O Eric Blair Tainton. While attempting to land at the old Potshot (Learmonth) Airfield, this aircraft hit a soft patch of soil and stood onto its nose.

Mission History
On March 28, 1943 took off piloted by S/Ldr Keith William "Bluey" Truscott with a wingman on a mission to escort a PBY Catalina flying boat. During the flight, the Kittyhawks made mock attack runs on the flying boat. Failing to notice that the Catalina was in a slow descent, Truscott misjudged its height and crashed into the Bay of Rest near Herron Head, Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. Truscott did not bail out and was killed in the crash.

Wreckage
After the crash, the aircraft was recovered from a depth of 7 fathoms. Truscott's body found still strapped in the cockpit and recovered.

Memorials
Truscott was officially declared dead the day of the mission. His remains were buried at Perth War Cemetery at grave H.A.12. Later, Truscott Airfield was named in his honor. The trophy for Best and Fairest at the Melbourne Football Club is dubbed the Keith "Bluey" Truscott Memorial Trophy.

References
RAAF Court of Inquiry A29-150
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-150
CWGC - Keith William Truscott
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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P-40

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