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  P-40N-5-CU Kittyhawk Serial Number NZ3175 Tail Code 65
14 Squadron

Pilot  Flight Lieutenant J. O. McFarlane, 402881 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
MIA  December 17, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructor Number 28779. U. S. Army serial number 42-105877. Disassembled and shipped overseas.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Kittyhawk NZ3175. On August 16, 1943 assembled by No.1 Aircraft Depot and BOC at Hobsonville Airfield. Assigned to 16 Squadron. Tail Code 65. Written off books on January 31, 1944.

Mission History
On December 17, 1943 took off from Ondonga Airfield at 5:30am on a fighter sweep over Rabaul. This P-40 was one of twenty-four P-40s from RNZAF 16 Squadron and 14 Squadron. They were joined by twenty-two U. S. Navy F6F Hellcats and thirty-one U. S. Marine Corps F4U Corsairs, totaling seventy-seven fighters. This mission was the RNZAF's first major air operation.

The formation first staged to Torokina Airfield to refuel, then took off again and split up into two groups. The New Zealand pilots were led by Freeman and Arkwright en route to Rabaul. Inbound to the target, two P-40s aborted the mission due to to mechanical problems, leaving seventy-five fighters that reached the target.

Over the target, McFarlane's leader Vanderpump dove onto eight Zekes above shipping in the harbor. Vanderpump shot down a Zeke, then chases a Zeke attacking McFarlane, both escaping by diving through intense anti-aircraft over Rabaul, McFarlane was hit and crashed near Praed Point.

This mission a total of three P-40s and two pilots were lost: this aircraft plus P-40 NZ3153 over southern New Ireland. Nine aircraft were claimed, 5 by RNZAF, 4 by USN.

McFarlane was officially declared dead on December 17, 1943. He is memorialized at Bourail Memorial at the Bourail War Cemetery on panel 3.

Air to Air an account of the December 17, 1943 mission
ADF Serials Kittyhawk NZ3175
CWGC - John Osborne McFarlane

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018


Tech Info

1 Missing

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