|Pilot F/Lt Leslie "Les" D. Jackson (survived)
Crashed April 6, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Assigned U. S. Army 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 5, 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 6, 1942 one of nine P-40s that took off from 7-Mile Drome to patrol north of Port Moresby and intercepted seven Japanese Japanese G4M1 Bettys escorted by A6M2 Zeros.
In this combat, Les Jackson exchanged fire and claimed hits on two Zeros that made head on passes against him, and damaged his engine, and required him to force land outside Port Moresby on a coral reef.
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."
Afterwards, it was used for components and was officially written off on July 30, 1942.
ADF Serials - P-40 Kittyhawk A29-9
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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January 5, 2018