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  P-40E Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-71  

Former Assignments
76 Squadron
15 RSU
75 Squadron
RAAF 1945
Pilot  F/O William R. Binning (KIA)
Crashed  January 16, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Curtis in Buffalo, New York during 1941. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force serial number 41-5632. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

During March 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk A29-71. On April 1, 1942 it was assigned to 76 Squadron.

On July 19, 1942, collided with P-40E Kittyhawk A29-85 piloted by Squadron Leader "Bluey" Truscott while landing at Townsville. On August 10, 1942 it arrived in New Guinea. However it seems to have been force-landed on a beach and was salvaged from there and issued to 15 RSU.

On November 12, 1942 flown back to mainland Australia. On December 9, 1942 assigned to 75 Squadron and based at Strauss Airfield. On December 20, 1942 while taxing at Strauss Airfield piloted by Sgt Terrence D. Madigan, this P-40 swung off the runway and ran into trees damaging the aircraft but the pilot was unhurt.

On 17th January 1943 she was repaired and back with 76 Squadron. On 7th February 1943 involved in another landing accident at Strauss when it collided with P-40 A29-34 with F/O E. Crossing as pilot. On 24th October 1943 issued to 2 OTU and while with that unit was involved in another crash landing on November 25, 1943.

By December 14, 1943, was marked down to be put into storage and not used without authority , however on December 31, 1943 it was allocated to 1 OTU and began service with that unit on January 7, 1944.

Mission History
On January 16, 1945 after a mock attack on a Beaufort, it did A half roll and crashed 8 miles from Seaspray, Victoria into Lake Seeve near Sale. The pilot F/O William R. Binning was KIA.

The wreckage of this P-40 remained in situ until at least the early 1990s, then was salvaged.

Under restoration in Melbourne with Ben Saunders. Reportedly in October 2006, Ben Saunders has sold the project.

Oz@War "Crash of a Kittyhawk into Lake Reeve, 8 Miles from Sale on 16 January 1945" (photos)
Thanks to Graeme McDermott and Daniel Leahy for additional information.

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019


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