|Pilot F/Sgt James McLaren Stirling, 405427 (MIA, KIA) Brookstead, QLD
MIA January 27, 1944
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N-5-CU Warhawk serial number 42-105691. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
During September 1943 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk serial number A29-523. Assigned to 75 Squadron. Assigned to 13 ARDRP for repairs, then on November 15, 1943 returned to 75 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On January 27, 1944 at 8:20am took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by F/Sgt James McLaren Stirling as one of twelve Kittyhawks led by S/L J. H. Kinninmont, C. O. of 75 Squadron on a strafing mission against Jomba Island (Yomba) to the east of Madang. During one of the strafing runs at 9:20am, P-40N "Ishkabibble" A29-530 piloted by P/O Hunt approached from northwest followed by F/Sgt Crowthers at the same time this P-40 made its approach from the west from about 2,000'. It appears P/O Hunt saw this aircraft and attempted to pull away to starboard but still collided with it causing both aircraft to exploded on impact. Both pilots were killed in the collision and were declared Missing In Action (MIA).
After the impact, this aircraft crashed into the sea and P-40N "Ishkabibble" A29-530 crashed on the western side of Jomba Island (Yomba) and started a fire on the ground.
On Jomba Island (Yomba), the Luluwai (chief) of the island witnessed the collision and saw wreckage falling onto the sea (wreckage of this aircraft) and other wreckage impacting the western side of the island causing a fire (wreckage of P-40N A29-530).
Stirling was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Lae War Cemetery on the Lae Memorial, panel 6.
RAAF Operations Record Book (forms A50 & A51), 75 Squadron page 443 (NAA: A9186, 95)
"0920L 2 A/C A29-523 and A29-530 pilot by F/SG. Stirling and P/O Hunt collided over target in Madang area. Both pilots were killed and both aircraft were destroyed."
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-523
James McLaren Stirling
AWM - James McLaren Stirling
Aviation Heritage -
James McLaren Stirling
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January 27, 2019