|Pilot F/Sgt Robert William Crawford (survived)
Ditched April 24, 1942
Built by Curtis in Buffalo, New York. Delivered U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40E Warhawk serial number 40-663. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia as part of lend-lease and reassembled.
During April 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk A29-76. On April 10, 1942 received at Archerfield Airfield and assigned to RAAF 75 Squadron with fuselage code T. No known nickname or nose art. This P-40 operated from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by F/Sgt Robert William Crawford.
On April 24, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a patrol of the area with P-40E piloted by F/L Les Jackson. While over 7-Mile, around noon, a Japanese air raid commenced. Both P-40s were flying at 5,000' and dived to assist a B-26 "Hell's Angel" 40-1428 being attacked by A6M2 Zeros. Their attack forced away the Zeros, but one turned onto Crawford's tail ad damaged the fuel tank and port rudder, forcing him to ditch in the sea. The P-40 bounced three times before finally sinking in roughly six feet of water.
Fate of the Pilot
Crawford was slightly wounded in the ditching including a severed throat mic, but survived and was able to free himself from the aircraft. Later that day, a launch arrived and transported him back to Port Moresby.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40E 40-663
"663 condemned Jan 18, 1942. Repaired and taken on service by RAAF as A29-76. Shot down over Port Moresby, NB [sic, NG] Apr 24, 1942."
ADF Serials - P-40E A29-76
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October 1, 2018