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  P-40E-1-CU Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-100  
75 Squadron

Pilot  W/O Francis Pentland Shelley, RAAF 402408 (MIA / KIA) Manly, NSW
MIA  August 11, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructors Number 18496. Assigned U. S. Army serial number 41-35975. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number ET621. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia as part of lend-lease and reassembled.

Wartime History
During May 1942 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk A29-100. Assigned to 75 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On August 11, 1942 took off from Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip) piloted by W/O Francis Pentland Shelley as one of twenty-two P-40s from 75 Squadron and 76 Squadron intercepting intercepting Japanese aircraft attacking Milne Bay. This aircraft was flying in the formation's number 2 position to flight leader F/Lt F Coker. When the pair made contact with the Japanese aircraft, Coker lost contact with Shelley before entering a rain squall approximately four miles from base. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was P-40E Kittyhawk A29-84 (KIA), P-40E Kittyhawk A29-123 (KIA) and P-40E Kittykawk A29-93 (KIA).

Shelley was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is commemorated on the Port Moresby Memorial at the Bomana War Cemetery on panel 9.

Previously, P-40E-1-CU Warhawk 41-28184 was originally intended to be delivered to the RAAF as Kittyhawk A29-100, but this assignment was was canceled on April 28, 1942.
CWGC - Francis Pentland Shelley
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-100
"served with 75 Sqn; originally 41-28184 was allocated to this serial but was cancelled on 26/4/42 with 41-35975 (ex ET621) being allocated; on 14/5/42 issued to 75 Sqn from 2 AP; on 20/5/42 it was involved in an accident; on 11/8/42 it was part of 22 Kittyhawks from 75 & 76 Sqn that attacked a second Japanese raid just after midday and it took off from Fall River to intercept enemy aircraft and was last seen 4 miles from Fall River attacking enemy aircraft but W/O Francis Pentland Shelley (402408) failed to return and was declared MIA (most probably KIA)"
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
May 5, 2018


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