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  P-40N-1-CU "Come in Suckers" Serial Number A29-414 Code HU-Z
RAAF
78 Squadron

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RAAF c1944

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RAAF April 25, 1944

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Pioneer Aero 2002

Former Pilot  F/Sgt James Denman Harvey, 418408 (survived) Preston, VIC
Crashed  April 25, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York in the middle of 1943 as the second to last P-40N-1 built. Constructors Number 399. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N-1-CU Warhawk serial number 42-104827. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia as part of a shipment of 400 P-40N-1s under lend lease.

Wartime History
During July 1943, assigned to the Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk serial number A29-414. Reassembled by 2 Air Depot (2 AD). On March 8, 1943 assigned to 78 Squadron with code HU-Z. Nicknamed "Come In Suckers" on the lower cowling, with the nose art of a woman painted during January or February 1944. On April 11, 1944 it returned to squadron after an engine change by 11 Repair Salvage Unit (11 RSU).

Mission History
On April 25, 1944 took off piloted by F/Sgt James D. Harvey on a mission. While landing at Tadji Airfield, the left undercarriage collapsed, causing the P-40 to stand on its nose, flip over and burst into flames. Harvey managed to escape uninjured. The crash was witnessed by Arch Simpson, who was airborne in the landing pattern waiting to land. Afterwards, the aircraft was pushed off the side of the runway. On June 26, 1944 it was converted to components and stricken off charge and abandoned.

Wreckage
Until 2001, the wreckage of this aircraft remained in situ at Tadji Airfield.

Recovery
During 2001, salvaged by Robert Greinert / HARS and exported to Australia.

Later, the wreckage was sold to Garth Hogan / Pioneer Aero and shipped to New Zealand.

Restoration
During 2002, offered for sale as a "P-40 project" by Pioneer Aero. While at Pioneer Aero the restoration was begun with nearly all of the major components available from the wreckage. During the restoration, the Curtiss constructors number "399" was found on the left lower longeron.

Pioneer Aero / Paul McSweeny adds:
"Until 2005, Pioneer still has the fuselage and a pair of damaged wings which originated from PNG. These were purchased on the open market in 2006. Details of the transaction are subject to commercial confidentiality."

In late 2006, Pioneer Aero sold the project to Michael Potter / Vintage Wings of Canada but Pioneer continued to restoration work.

First Flight
On April 25, 2009, with Harvey's family in attendance, this P-40 made its first flight, 65 years after its crash landing. Afterwards, disassembled and shipped to Canada to Vintage Wings of Canada.

On July 6, 2009 this P-40 was registered by "6575331 Canada Inc." in Ontario with registration C-FVWC. Canadian Corporation "6575331 Canada Inc. 62 John Street, Ottawa, ON K1M1M3 with director Michael Urwin Potter. This aircraft was painted in the markings of RCAF 260 Squadron P-40 FR3?? code HS-B piloted by Stocky Edwards, an ace who flew in North Africa.

Memorials
Harvey passed away August 1, 1998.

References
Note, some sources state its USAAF serial number was 42-104826, but this is an error.
WW2 Nominal Roll - James Denman Harvey
Eyewitness statement from Arch Simpson recollections of crash of Kittyhawk A29-414
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-414
Pioneer Aero - P-40N "Come In Suckers" Offered For Sale via Wayback Machine May 25, 2012
Pioneer Aero - RAAF W/O James Harvey via Wayback Machine November 25, 2003
Warbird Depot - Vintage Wings of Canada's Curtiss P-40N-1 Kittyhawk
Canadian Civil Aircraft Register - C-FVWC
Flypast "A Visit With The World's Premier P-40 Specialists"
Canadian Civil Aircraft Registry (CCAR) - C-FVWC
Canadian Federal Corporation Information - 6575331 Canada Inc.

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Last Updated
April 21, 2019

 

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