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  P-40N-1 Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-410  
78 Squadron

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Eugene Salternik 1944

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Justin Taylan 2004

Pilot  F/Lt. Colin Raymond Harvey, 406076 (survived) Fremantle, WA
Crashed  June 13, 1944

AIrcraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army as serial number 42-104823. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime HIstory
During July 1943, assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk A29-410. Assigned to 2 Air Depot (2 AD). On August 10, 1943 assigned to 78 Squadron. On April 5, 1944 received by 11 RSU from 78 Squadron for an engine change and returned to the squadron the 15th.

On June 3, 1944 this P-40 participated in last major RAAF air combat in the Pacific by 78 Squadron, piloted by F/O Geoff O'Halloran Giles, 417830.

Mission History
On June 13, 1944 took off from Hollandia, flying a four planes patrol over the area. In clouds, this P-40 tried to avoided a collision with another P-40 in the formation, and went into a spin. Pilot Harvey was forced to bail out, roughly 40 miles south of Cyclops Airfield and landed unhurt.

The next day, he was spotted by an L-5 piloted by MSgt Eugene Salternik who dropped him food and a message that directing him to a river and follow it in his raft.  After 21 days of being dropped supplies by Salternik's L-5, he was rescued on July 4th by a RAAF Walrus flying boat from Lake Krau.

After the war, Salternik and Harvey remained good friends, and visited with each other in Australia and the United States.  In 1994 on the 50th anniversary of the event, Harvey presented Salternik with a plaque, with his RAAF flying wings and some of the notes he had dropped to him and sustained him on his long escape. Harvey passed away in the late 1990s.

ADF Serials - P-40N Kittyhawk A29-410
Thanks to Eugene Salternik for additional information.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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