|Pilot Captain Allison "Al" W. Strauss, C. O. 8th FS (KIA, BR) IN
Crashed April 27, 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 "The Blacksheep". No known nickname or nose art.
On April 27, 1942 took off from Adelaide River Airfield at noon piloted by Captain Allison W. Strauss on a scramble mission to intercept Japanese aircraft including G4M1 Bettys escorted by A6M2 Zeros attacking Darwin. Strauss was leading "Green Flight" with wingmen 2nd Lt. Earl Kingsley and 2nd Lt. Pierre Alford, leading four flights of P-40s.
The P-40s attacked a formation of Japanese bombers escorted by fighters beyond Middle Point, outnumbered seven to one. Intercepted by A6M2 Zeros, Strauss' P-40 was observed to snap striaght up, roll over then plunge downward then crashed Fannie Bay off Darwin Harbor. Also lost was P-40E Warhawk piloted by Fish.
After the crash, a floating oxygen bottle was found by an Australian Army anti-aircraft battery at Fanny Bay in Darwin Harbor that was deemed to be from this aircraft based on a serial number found. Reportedly, Strauss' body was found across Darwin Harbor in the Swires Bluff and buried at Strauss.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, Strauss' remains were reportedly recovered and buried in Australia. Postwar, his remains were exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
On March 17, 1948 Strauss was permenantly buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Wadesville, IN. Soon after his loss, 28 Mile Drome was named "Strauss Field" in his honor.
FindAGrave - Capt Allison W Strauss (grave photos)
Protect & Avenge pages 25, 40-42, 46-48, , 48 (photo), 49 (photo), 50 (map), 359 (index)
49th Fighter Group page 15
"Capt Allison Strauss apparently fell to the guns of the Zero on his tail and crashed to his death near the port of Darwin. Like Lt Livingstone, Strauss also had an airstrip south of Darwin named after him soon after his death."
Darwin’s Defenders (forthcoming) by Bob Alford
Thanks to Bob Alford for additional information
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July 26, 2018