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|Pilot 1st Lt. Benjamin F. Duke, Jr. (KIA, BR) SC
Crashed June 18, 1943
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructors Number 18678. Originally intended for the Royal Air Force (RAF) with serial number ET803 but never delivered. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40E-1 Warhawk serial number 41-36157. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group (49th FG), 9th Fighter Squadron (9th FS) "The Flying Knights". Squadron Number 70. No known nose art or nickname.
On June 18, 1943 took off from Dobodura Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Ben Duke and suffered a take off accident and crashed. Duke was killed in the crash.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the pilot's body was recovered buried in New Guinea. Postwar, Duke's remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Postwar, his remains were buried at Decatur Cemetery in Decatur, GA.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Benjamin F. Duke
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40E-1 Warhawk 41-36157
"36157 (MSN 18678) was to have gone to RAF as ET803, delivered to Australia and diverted to USAAF. Crashed on takeoff from Dobodura, PNG Jun 18, 1943. Pilot killed"
Protect & Avenge: The 49th Fighter Group in WWII pages ?
FindAGrave - Benjamin Franklin Duke, Jr (grave photo)
Thanks to Keith Hopper for additional information
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