|Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert Howard (survived)
Crashed November 9, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot William "Bill" Day. Squadron Number "61". No known nickname or nose art.
On November 9, 1942 took off 3 Mile (Kila) near Port Moresby on a mission. While attempting to land at Myola, this P-40 overran the landing and crashed into trees near the camp area of the Australian Army 2/6 Field Ambulance.
Fates of the Pilot
Howard survived the crash with only minor injuries and was rescued by Australians and walked the Kokoda Trail back to Port Moresby and returned to duty two days later.
The wreckage of this P-40 remains near Myola including the engine, wing with "U. S. Army" and armor plate.
Protect & Avenge page 87
"The next day [November 9, 1942], rookie 2Lt. Bob Howard failed to get enough power out of #61, the Warhawk he had borrowed from veteran Bill Day for the morning mission. Only minutes from 3 Mile, #61 seized up and Howard attempted an emergency belly landing on the tiny supply flight strip on the southern slope near Myola. The fighter slid off the wet runway and slammed into the undergrowth. He emerged from the wreck with minor abrasions and was soon found by an Aussie patrol who escorted him back down the trail [Kokoda Trail] to the Port Moresby dispensary. Howard was on flight duty at 3 Mile two days later when expressed his regrets to Day for the loss of the new plane."
Flightpath Magazine "Kokoda Walk Warhawk" August 2012
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Phil Bradley for additional information
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January 5, 2018