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Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Ordered under contract AC-34423. Constructors Number 28580. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N-1-CU Warhawk serial number 42-104818. Disassembled and shipped from San Francisco across the Pacific to Australia.
During July 1943 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk serial number A29-1068. On July 13, 1943 received by 2 Air Depot (2 AD) at Richmond Airfield and reassembled. On July 15, 1943 re-serialized as Kittyhawk serial number A29-405. On August 3, 1943 assigned to No. 78 Squadron with fuselage code HU-S. No known nickname or nose art.
On August 14, 1943 took off piloted by Sgt Donald Abercrombie Smyth, 424311. During the flight while flying in formation collided with P-40N A29-413 and sustained damage to the starboard wing and fuselage but the pilot was unhurt and managed to land the aircraft at Camden Airfield. After repairs, flown north to New Guinea and began operating from Tadji Airfield.
On April 30, 1944 while parked at Tadji Airfield this P-40 was hit by F5B Lightning 42-67383 while landing, causing extensive damage to the port wing and empennage, On September 8, 1944 it was approved for conversion into components by 12 RSU, and abandoned at the airfield.
This P-40 remained in situ until 1974.
Recovery & Storage
During 1974, the fuselage was salvaged by Charles Darby and Monty Armstrong in an operation funded by David Tallichet / Yesterday's Air Force (MARC). Transported to the United States and stored at Chino Airport until 1998.
Some restoration work was undertaken by MAPS Museum. Next, sold to Tom Wilson / The Curtis Hawk Factory who owned it until 1999.
During 1999, sold to Graham Orphan, Blenheim NZ, editor of Classic Wings Magazine and shipped to Blenheim, New Zealand along with wing and tail parts from other P-40 wrecks salvaged from Papua New Guinea, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. At the time, Orphan planned to restore this aircraft to airworthy condition.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40N-1-CU Warhawk 42-104818
"104818 (MSN 28580) to RAAF as A29-405 July 1943. Damaged in collision with A29-413 in Papua New Guinea Aug 14, 1943. Marked as HU-S. Fuselage used in field rebuild of A29-1068. Damaged in collision at Tadji Strip, PNG Apr 1944 and abandoned. Recovered in 1974 and currently being restored."
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-405
ADF Serials - RAAF A29 Curtiss P-40N-1/N-5/N-15/N-20 or Kittyhawk IV
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks (1979) by Charles Darby page 57 (middle)
Classic Fighters - P-40 Kittyhawk Project For Sale (page down as of 2011)
Classic Fighters - P-40N-1 Kittyhawk A29-405 (via Wayback Machine as of May 25, 2006)
"This project is currently residing in suburban Blenheim, though it will soon be making the short journey to Omaka. This aircraft is ex-RAAF A29-405, and was recovered from Papua New Guinea in 1974, then shipped to the USA. There it served to assist other P-40s in the provision of parts and as a guide for accurate fuselage rebuilds since this was one of the straightest and most complete of those recovered at the time. The aircraft was purchased in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999, and shipped back to New Zealand at the same time as another (now) resident aircraft at Omaka. Subsequent acquisitions include wings and tail parts from Papua New Guinea, undercarriage and engine mounts from Russia, and various other items from Australia and New Zealand."
Thanks to Charles Darby for additional information
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