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  P-39Q-5-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-20339  
5th AF
8th FG
36th FS
Neville Mines 1973

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-39Q-5-BE Airacobra serial number 42-20339. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Fighter Group (8th FG) "Cyclone's Flying Circus", 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) "The Flying Fiends". No known nose art or nickname. This aircraft was abandoned at Tadji Airfield.

Until 1974, this aircraft remained in situ at Tadji Airfield.

Salvaged in 1974 by Charles Darby and Monty Armstrong during a salvage operation for David Tallichet / Yesterday's Air Force (MARC). Transported to the United States.

This aircraft was stored at Chino Airport during the 1970s, location today unknown.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-39Q-5-BE Airacobra 42-20339
"20339 (36th FS, 8th FG) abandoned at Tadji PNG 1943/44. Recovered 1974 fro Jadgi [sic]. Reported 1988 at Yesterday's Air Force at Chino airport."
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 57 (lower)
"P-39Q 42-20339 of the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, was abandoned at Tadji when the unit requipped. The Airacobra was built like a battleship, and little remained above the "keel" after the nose gun bay covers, cockpit doors and engine cowls were removed. The P-39 was more susceptible to corrosion than its counterpart the P-40, particularly in the highly stressed A-Frame behind the cockpit, and as the author found to his cost, was very much more difficult to dismantle because of inaccessible attachment bolts."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39Q Airacobra 42-20339
Thanks to Charles Darby for additional information

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019


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