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  P-40N-1 Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-448 Code GA-C
RAAF
78 Squadron

Former Assignments
75 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
Charles Darby 2000

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
D McDonald 2001

Pilot  F/O Geoffrey O'Halloran Giles, 417830 (survived)
Force Landed  May 4, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Assigned U. S. Army serial number 42-104730. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
During August 1943, assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kiittyhawk serial number A29-448. Also, serial number A29-1050 was painted on the opposite side of the tail.

On September 17, 1943 assigned to 75 Squadron and coded GA-C. This aircraft served with 75 Squadron, and was flown by a variety of pilots, including: Dick Sasse who assembled it and flew it on its test flights. Also, Geoff Williams who piloted it combat at Milne Bay. Other pilots including Charles Bowly, John Bailey, Ben Weston.

On March 13, 1944 piloted by F/L Frank Arthur Coker, 402226 landed at Nadzab Airfield, swung off the runway into an unmarked drainage ditch and transferred to 11 RSU for repairs.

Next, on April 8, 1944 suffered another landing accident at Cape Gloucester Airfield and afterwards repaired. On May 1, 1944 assigned to 78 Squadron based at Tadji Airfield.

Mission History
On May 4, 1944 took off from Tadji Airfield piloted by F/O Geoffrey O'Halloran Giles, 417830. During the flight, this P-40 suffered a hydraulic and electrical failure and belly landed wheels up at Tadji Airfield. Afterwards, this P-40 was sent to 22 RSU for repair. On October 25, 1944 approved for conversion to components and abandoned at Tadji Airfield.

Wreckage
Until 1974, this P-40 remained in situ at Tadji Airfield.

Recovery
During 1974, recovered by Charles Darby during a recovery funded by David Tallichet / Yesterday's Air Force. Shipped aboard a barge to Lae and shipped to New Zealand.

Restoration
Until the middle 1990s, this P-40 was placed into storage in Auckland awaiting restoration. Pacific Aircraft Ltd began restoring this aircraft with the remainder completed by Pioneer Aero Restorations. Co-owned by Charles Darby and Garth Hogan, and based in New Zealand. Painted in RAAF 75 Squadron markings of P-40N "Currawong" code GA-C. Restored to flying status in 2000, this P-40 made its debut flight during the Warbirds over Wanaka air show.

References
The Whole Nine Yards tells the history and restoration of this aircraft
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 44 (lower right), 68 (upper)
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-448
Thanks to Charles Darby and Garth Hogan for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-40
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