Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  P-40N Warhawk Serial Number ?  
USAAF
5th AF
49th FG
7th FS

Pilot History
Lt. James O'Neil of Ames, Idaho enlisted on August 27, 1942 and earned his wings on April 26, 1943 at Moore Field, Texas and served in the South Pacific for 20 months as a P-40 and P-38 pilot. He was awarded the Air Medal in March 1944, Oak Leaf Cluster and Legion of Merit in April 1944. He was credited with three victories during the war. On March 12, 1944 he flew an escort mission to Wewak and claimed a fighter at low level over the sea off Brandi. He claimed two victories over Leyte on November 24, 1944. After returning to the United States, he was killed on June 14, 1945 in a crash at Riverside, California.

Aircraft 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, 7th Fighter Squadron. This aircraft was possibly a P-40N Warhawk nicknamed "Bucket O'Bolts" USAAF serial number unknown with nose number 3.

Sometime later in the war, this P-40 was demilitarized at Finschafen Airfield, with the guns and instruments removed, then the tail and wings cut. Finally, the remains were buried at the airfield.

Wreckage
During 2001, this aircraft was excavated from a 30' hole near Finschafen Airfield by by '75 Squadron'. On the cockpit was the name "Lt. J. J. O'Neil" also "Lt. H. W. Harris" and "Crew Chief Sgt Frank Schwartz".

Jason Van Der Graaf is quoted:
"As you can imagine, the aircraft is in very bad shape and will require about 70 percent of its structure to be remanufactured. We have been working on it for a number of years and hope to eventually return this aircraft to flying status.”

References
WWII plane discovered in New Guinea connects to Ames pilot February 15, 2009

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech InfoP-40

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram