|Pilot F/Lt Leslie "Les" D. Jackson (survived)
Crashed April 6, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40E Warhawk serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
On March 16, 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk serial number A29-9. That same day assigned to 75 Squadron with tail code "N". This P-40 operated from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby.
On March 25, 1942, suffered a force landing and afterwards was repaired.
On April 6, 1942 took off 7-Mile Drome piloted by Jackson on a mission to intercept incoming Japanese G4M1 Bettys and escorting A6M2 Zeros. During the combat, Jackson shot down A6M2 Zero piloted Yoshi’e and this P-40 was damaged during aerial combat, but landed safely at approximately 12:30pm.
Vanished without a trace: The First Tainan Kū Loss in New Guinea, 5 April 1942:
"Jackson made a head-on attack from below, observing “tracers hit several bombers in both formations” then he sighted a diving Zero attacking a Kittyhawk. Jackson gave chase, “I dived on a Zero and gave it long burst after which it immediately burst into flames & a number of pieces flew off”. Woods later reported, “saw one E/A going down in flames on S.W. side of aerodrome”. Such definitive vocabulary highlights the downing of PO2c Yoshi’e Takurō. Whilst Jackson had submitted a prior claim for his first Zero over Port Moresby on 24 March 1942, there were in fact no Japanese losses that day. Thus this kill marked Jackson’s first de facto aerial victory, and the first Zero for RAAF No. 75 Squadron."
On April 24, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome piloted by F/Lt Leslie "Les" D. Jackson as one of nine P-40s on a mission to patrol north of Port Moresby.
intercept seven G4M1 Bettys escorted by A6M2 Zeros. During the air combat, Les Jackson exchanged fire and claimed hits on two Zeros that made head on passes against him. Gunfire from the Zeros damaged his engine, and required him to force land on a coral reef near Bootless Bay.
Afterwards, it was used for components and was officially written off on July 30, 1942.
ADF Serials - P-40 Kittyhawk A29-9
"Allotted 75 Sqn RAAF ex 1AD 08/03/42. Received E at 75Sqn ex 1AD 16/03/42. Coded "N" in 75 Sqn RAAF. 24/03/42 Rec Moresby 21/03/42. 06/04/42 lost by Enemy action at Bootless Inlet 10 miles south east of Moresby. 06/04/42 proable partly salvageable. Write off 16/04/42. Min #7 File #9/1/1123. 17/07/42 rec 5AD for repair, serviceablity indefinite. 20/07/42 serviceablity indefinite. 17/07/42 Received in since last return.31/07/42 serviceablity indefinite. 07/08/42 serviceablity indefinite. Converted to components on file no 9/16/446. Approved AMSE 30/07/42"
Seek and Strike page 28, Pettett recalled:
"Les Jackson finished up on a coral reef in about six feet of water. The engine sat down with the wings and tail high and dry. As the rest of us came down towards the strip, Les stood out on one wing waving his arms and doing a jig, obviously to indicate he was OK. I heard John Jackson call 'there's a kite on the reef. The pilot's OK - jumping about. Seems a happy sort of chap.' John hadn't recognized his brother."
J-Aircraft "Vanished without a trace: The First Tainan Kū Loss in New Guinea, 5 April 1942" by Luca Ruffato, 2013
Eagles of the Southern Sky pages 13-16 (Chapter Three - First Moves)
Kokoda Air Strikes pages 138-139
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December 16, 2018