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  P-40K-1-CU "Pistoff" Serial Number 42-45979  
5th AF
49th FG
7th FS

Pilot  1st Lt Donald H. Lee, Jr., O-430931 (rescued)
Crashed  July 14, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Squadron. Nicknamed "Pistoff".

On March 5, 1943 took off piloted by Lee on a combat mission over Lae. During the flight he claimed a Ki-43 Oscar shot down over Malahang.

Mission History
On July 14, 1943 took off from Dobodura on a mission over Lae. Over the target, Lee claimed his fourth victory a D3A Val. Afterwards, this P-40's cooling system was damaged, likely by the Val's rear gunner and his engine seized forcing him to bail out over the Huon Gulf near Lasanga Island off Lake Salus.

Lee landed unhurt into the sea. After 30 minutes, he was rescued by PT-150 and returned to duty.

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017


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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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