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  P-400 Airacobra Serial Number AP378  
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
39th FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Frank E. Angier, O-428461 (survived)
Crashed  July 4, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AP378 and painted in a three-color camouflage scheme. Instead, delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On July 4, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby in a line abreast formation on a mission to intercept a formation of Japanese aircraft. Intercepted by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai.

During the combat, Angier's Airacobra was damaged and bailed out on the coast near Boera roughly 30 miles west of Port Moresby. After his parachute opened, he was strafed as he descended by Zeros, until they were chased away by the P-39 Airacobra piloted by Lt. Frank Royal. Also lost were P-400 Airacobra BX180 and P-39F Airacobra 41-7148 and this aircraft.

Fates of the Pilot
He survived unhurt and returned to his squadron.

References
Joe Baugher "Airacobra I for RAF, P-400"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39 (P-400) Airacobra AP 378
Frank E. Angier interview at 39th Fighter Squadron reunion at Dayton, Ohio in 2006 by Kenneth Tilley
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Technical Info
P-400
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