|Pilot Lt. James Olin Brewer (survived)
Crashed July 13, 1943
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AP357 and painted in a three-color camouflage scheme. Instead, delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 35th Fighter Squadron.
Nose letter "V". No known nose art or nickname.
On July 11, 1943 this Airacobra was piloted by Bob Smith on a combat mission and claimed a Ki-43 Oscar shot down.
On July 13, 1943 took off from 3 Mile Drome (Kila) near Port Moresby piloted by Brewer on an escort mission. Soon after take off, the propeller governor malfunctioned and caused the engine to run wild. Brewer radioed he was in trouble and aborted the mission. Manually, he managed to bring the engine under control but then lost oil pressure. The engine caught fire and forced him to bail out and landed roughly ten miles from 3 Mile Drome unhurt.
Fate of the Pilot
Brewer landed in kunai grass that cut him and he walked for four days before reaching an Allied searchlight outpost and was returned to his unit, having lost twenty pounds. Afterwards, he returned to duty.
Attack & Conquer page 115 (photo), 118
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January 5, 2018