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  P-40 Warhawk Serial Number ?  
RAAF or USAAF

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Daniel Leahy 2014

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
Unknown. Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) or U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF). No known nickname or nose art. This P-40 was abandoned in a boneyard or junkyard area near 5-Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby.

Wreckage
The wreckage of this aircraft is submerged underwater on the grounds of the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club (RPMCG) near the 16th hole.

Bruce Hoy adds:
"I have been out to the P-40. It is lying on its port side, totally undamaged and intact from about the front windshield to the tail wheel area. I think the wing was also there. I have a number of pictures of it as I walked right up to it, or more correctly sloshed in mud right up to it. There was hardly any water in the hole at that time. The fuselage appeared to have been disconnected from the wings. There was also the tubular framework of another aircraft, or aircrafts, nearby, I'm not sure as I am only going on memory. I have just gone through my diary and there is no mention of going to this spot, nor in the captions for my slides and colour prints."

During the early 1990s, Charles Darby visited this aircraft wreck and stood atop it, submerged in the swamp.

Justin Taylan adds:
"On May 20, 2014, Daniel Leahy and I investigated this aircraft. The aircraft wreck was known to the security guards. They also confirmed the water was inhabited by salt water crocodiles who had bitten one guard three times, hospitalizing him for three months and taking several children over the years. Their are several stories about this aircraft. One is that it is a RAAF Kittyhawk that crash landed. Another is that it was pushed into this hole during the war from a bone yard area. The precise identity of this wreck or the circumstances of its demise are not yet known to us."

References
Storm over Kokoda page 205 incorrectly associates this wreckage with P-40E Kittyhawk A29-47:
"Barry Cox died in Jackson’s final combat too, but in what circumstances we have no record. United States army engineers draining a wetland to build yet another airfield finally found his Kittyhawk months later, but left it where it fell. After the war, the Port Moresby golf course took advantage of the American landscaping for the purposes of the course design, and more than sixty years after the event, parts of Cox’s fighter were still visible."
Thanks to Bruce Hoy, Charles Darby and Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-40

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