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  P-40N-1-CU Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-446 Code HU-S
86 Squadron

Former Assignments
84 Squadron
78 Squadron

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RAAF 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Assigned U. S. Army order number AO-34423 fund F-1 at a cost of $36,199.00. On May 7, 1943 delivered to the U. S. Army as P-40N-1-CU serial number 42-104728. Disassembled and shipped to Brooklyn, New York and shipped overseas as part of lend lease to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
During August 1943, assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk A29-446. On September 8, 1943 assigned to 78 Squadron with code code HU-S. No known nickname or nose art.

This P-40 operated from New Guinea, and sustained at least one bullet hole in the rear fuselage, that was patched. During April 1944, ground looped at Cape Gloucester Airfield piloted by S/L Adam Howie Brydon.

On June 8, 1944 repaired by 11 RSU, then returned to 78 Squadron after a 240 hour inspection. On November 6, 1944 this aircraft had an engine overhaul and inspection by 11 RSU.

On March 11, 1945 assigned to 84 Squadron from 22 RSU. When the squadron converted to P-51 Mustang aircraft, this P-40 was assigned to 86 Squadron on April 1, 1945.

Mission History
On April 8, 1945 took off from Bohle River Airfield piloted by F/Sgt Keith James Nelson, 439665 and landed wheels up damaging the aircraft.

On May 25, 1945 approval was given to convert the aircraft to components by 6 CRD. Afterwards, for it was transported to Rattlesnake Island and abandoned.

This aircraft was recovered by Keith Hopper from Rattlesnake Island.

Keith Hopper adds:
"How the remains ended up on Rattlesnake Island, is a matter of conjecture. The most plausible explanation is that 6 CRD transported them to the island for use as gunnery targets when they converted P-40N A29-462 to components. I am hoping that viewing the 6 CRD unit diaries early in the new year while shed more light on the matter."

The wreckage was transported to Pioneer Aero in New Zealand and restoration underway since the early 2000s to airworthy status. Afterwards, shipped back to Townsville and placed into storage. During 2016, to Precision Aerospace (Precision Airmotive) for the final stages of restoration to airworthy status.

Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) - P-40N 42-104728
WW2 Nominal Roll - Keith James Nelson
Pioneer Aero - current projects A29-446 (accessed January 2011)
ADF Serials - P-40N Kittyhawk A29-446
Thanks to Keith Hopper for additional information.

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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