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  P-39F-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 41-7216  
5th AF
8th FG
80th FS

Pilot  Lt. Yundt (survived)
Force Landed  May 1, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, NY. Constructors Number 15-555. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-39F-1-BE Airacobra serial number 41-7216. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Pursuit Group (8th PG), 80th Pursuit Squadron (80th PS). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On May 1, 1942 took off from Antill Plains Airfield near Townsville piloted by Lt. Yundt on a flight bound for 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby as one of six Airacobras led by P-39F "Erminie" 41-6951 pilot Lt. Charles Faletta. The formation included P-39F 41-7215 pilot Lt. Harvey, P-39F pilot Lt. Love and this aircraft.

Flying northward, the formation made a refueling stop at Cooktown Airfield, then encounted a storm near Horn Island, where they planned to land at Horn Island Airfield to and refuel before the final leg of the journey to Port Moresby.

While flying in bad weather and thick clouds, Lt. Falletta began flying on instruments back leading the other inexperienced pilots back to the Cape York Peninsula. Low on fuel, they searched for a suitable place to land.

Lt. Faletta and wingman, Lt. Harvey chose a landing spot roughly 13-16 kilometers inland from Cape Orford Ness, near the Escape River near Weipa. The other Airacobras attempted to force land on a nearby beach. P-39F pilot Lt. Love attempted to land with his gear down and cartwhelled on landing, killing him inside the cockpit. This aircraft force landed on the beach and Lt. Yundt was unhurt. Officially, this aircraft was condemned on October 31, 1944.

Afterwards, Yundt was rescued and returned to duty.

The wreckage of this Airacobra remained on the beach near the wreckage of P-39F piloted by Love.

Richard Rudd adds:
"Lt Yundt's P-39, nearby had constuctors No 15-555 if I remember correctly. Ian Wright has that data plate."
Thanks to Richard Rudd for additional information.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-39F-1-BE Airacobra 41-7216
"7216 condemned Oct 31, 1944"
Thanks to Richard Rudd for additional information

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Last Updated
April 26, 2021


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