|Pilot F/O Peter Parkinson, 429992 (KIA, BR) Adelaide, SA
Crashed October 13, 1944
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructor Number 31122. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force serial number 43-23183. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
During December 1943 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk serial number A29-688. Assigned to 80 Squadron. During the first half of 1944, this aircraft was repaired by 15 ARDRP and 22 RSU.
On October 13, 1944 took off from Kamiri Airfield on Noemfoor Island on a mission over Seram Island (Ceram Island). Over the target, shot down by anti-aircraft or possibly friendly rocket fire over Waroe Bay. Pilot Parkinson was killed in the crash.
This P-40 crashed upside down and burned at Waroe. During August 1946, a RAAF Searcher Team led by Ft Lt Belcher visited the crash site and identified the RAAF concade and recovered dataplates from the crash site Afterwards, the team visited the crash site of A-20G 43-9624.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the pilot were buried in a grave near the crash site marked with a cross and inscribed "Unknown soldier died October 1944". On August 19, 1946, a RAAF Searcher Team led by Ft Lt Belcher exhumed the grave and transported the remains recovered to Ambon for permanent burial.
Parkinson was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After his remains were recovered, he was buried at Ambon War Cemetery at grave 7. C. 7.
NAA Operations Record Book No.80 Squadron, 10/9/1943 to 31/10/1945 (AWM64: 1/165; 638038)
Missing Air Crew Report 11060 (MACR 11060) mentions P-40N A29-688 on pages 14-16
Page 14: "Australian War Graves Unit Ambon Paren For Flight Officer Lt. Belcher RAAF Searcher Officer Paren August 30, 1946"
Page 15: "As Kittyhawk A29-688 was reported lost at Waroe, I [Flight Lt. Belcher} made extensive enquiries [sic] but from everon I got the same story. They remembered one raid in 1944 when three airplanes bombed a ship in Waroe Bay from high altitude. The three planes released their bombs and all turned out to sea still in formation. They were positive that no plane crashed in this or any other raid near Waroe, there were plenty of planes that passed over, but Waroe was only attacked twice."
Page 16: "[August 19, 1944] Our guides next took us to the P40 crash, this to my amazement proved to be RAAF Kittyhawk, the RAAF concade was plainly visible on the wing. As we had no record of any other RAAF P40 crashing in this area in October 1944, it is logical to assume this plane to be Kittyhawk A29-688 (number plane enclosed), the wing was upside down, which indicates crashing on its back. There was a grave near the wreckage marked with a cross inscribed 'Unknown soldier died Oct 1944. The grave was opened but the only remains found was the top of a skull, this was bleached white obviously by the sun which indicated the remains were not buried for some considerable time after the date of the crash. As the aircraft had burnt, melting some of the metal, it is possible the pilot was also burnt, leaving little to bury."
Joe Baugher's USAF Serial Number Search Results - 43-23183
CWGC - Peter Parkinson
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-688
RAAF DB - Kittyhawk A29-688
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January 5, 2018