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  P-39 Airacobra Serial Number ?  
5th AF

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Justin Taylan 2005

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

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force. No known nickname, nose art or markings. This Airacobra was likely assigned to Fighter Squadron (FS) or Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (PRS) if it was a P-39-6-BE photographic reconnaissance variant.

Mission History
During 1943-1944, this Airacobra took off on a mission and crashed at Banak on the north coast of New Guinea to the west of Boiken. Today, the crash site is located near the village water supply.

The shattered remains of the tail section, propeller hub, landing gear legs and a few other scattered pieces of wreckage are all that remains. Nearby is a single machine gun and the 37mm cannon.

Justin Taylan visited in 2005:
"According to local memory, this aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Kairuru Island and flew smoking and on fire to the coast of New Guinea and crashed at this location. This Airacobra has a Aeroproducts hydraulic propeller, indicating it was either a P-39F, P-39K-1, P-39N or P-39Q model. Based on the location this Airacobra is most likely a P-39N Airacobra or P-39Q Airacobra that crashed during late 1943 or 1944. This type and mode was only operated by the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) so the pilot was American. Possibly, it is associated with a Missing In Action (MIA) pilot."

Erection and Maintenance Instructions For Army Model P-39 Series page 12A, 13, 18-19, 30
"P-39F, P-39K-1, P-39N-O, P-39N-1 and P-39Q-1 airplanes employ an Aeroproducts hydraulic propeller"

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Last Updated
October 26, 2019


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