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  P-40N Warhawk Serial Number ?  
USAAF
5th AF
49th FG
8th FS

Click For Enlargement
January 14, 1943

Click For Enlargement
1943 via Robert Ash

Pilot  Lt. Walter J. Linder (survived) GA
Force landed  December 10, 1943
MACR  none

Pilot History
Linder is credited with two victories: his first on November 7, 1943 and his second on December 10, 1943 the day he was shot down.  He passed away September 2, 1981.

Wartime History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 10, 1943 took off from Gusap Airfield to intercept Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) fighters from Madang flying a sweep down the Ramu valley. This P-40 was part of "white flight" lead by Lambert this group lost sight of the other friendly fighters in the air. Linder, flying tail-end in the formation was hit by 12mm machine gun fire from a Ki-61 Tony and his plane was damaged and leaking coolant, but was forced to fight his way home, firing and scoring hits on one of the attackers.  Diving to the south, he was again attacked and hit again, wounding him in the ankle. 

His engine quit and he belly landed in the Ramu Valley on the Kunai prairie about eight miles from Gusap and one mile in from the west side of the valley, between the Eiwi and Surinam Rivers. Later inspection revealed over 100 bullet holes in the plane.

Relatives
Robert Ash (brother in law) adds:
"He was given credit for destroying an enemy plane that day in a report dated 15 March 1944 from the Fifth Air Force Headquarters. It was the second plane he shot down during his time in New Guinea. "

Memorial
Linder passed away on September 2, 1981.

References
NARA "World War II Army Enlistment Records" Walter J. Linder
Protect Avenge: The 49th Fighter Group in World War II page 223

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-40
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