|Pilot William "Bill" Hutcheson (survived)
Crashed June 16, 1942
Built by Bell in Buffalo, NY. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group and operated from Port Moresby. Next, assigned to the 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On June 16, 1942 after an 8:14am air raid alert, took off from Port Moresby at 8:20am. While switching from his belly tank to the main tank, this Airacobra was hit from behind by one or more A6M2 Zeros.
Fate of the Pilot
After bailing out into a swamp, he was strafed on the ground, but only his parachute was hit. He spent the day wandering in the jungle, then used a log to float down a stream towards the coast. After arriving at a village, he borrowed a canoe and reached 30-Mile Drome during the morning of June 18, 1942 and returned to duty.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-39F-1-BE Airacobra 41-7222
"7222 lost in combat Jun 17, 1942"
RAAF Survey of Aircraft Wreckage, Papua and New Guinea page ?
"#199 | 07.52-147.42 | Bau | USAC Airacobra P-39 41-7222 | Wreckage located between Bau Village and Bau Island"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39 Airacobra 41-7222 notes pilot as 2nd Lt. Paul J. Magre
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
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February 18, 2020