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  P-40N-20-CU Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-649  
22 RSU

Former Assignments
15 ARD
3 AD

Pilot  W/O Raymond John Keyes, 420571 (MIA / KIA) Sydney, NSW
MIA  January 28, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) serial number 43-22990. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
During December 1943 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk serial number A29-649. Assigned to 15 ARD.

On March 11, 1944 took off piloted by F/Lt William Allan Whetters and force landed on mud flats in bad weather, which damaged the oil cooler and other underside fittings. Whetters suffered head lacerations during the crash.

Afterwards, salvaged from the mud flats and on April 9, 1944 assigned to 3 Air Depot (3 AD) for repairs. Returned to 15 ARD then was assigned to 22 RSU.

This aircraft was to be assigned to 76 Squadron and flown from Port Moresby to Noemfoor by W/O Keyes of 76 Squadron. He requested Beaufort A9-660 piloted by W/Cdr Barker escort him across the Owen Stanley Mountains from Port Moresby via Lae Airfield to Tadi Airfield. It is not known whether W/O Keyes also intended to land at Lae Airfield.

Mission History
On January 28, 1945 took off from 5 Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby departing at 7:00am on a ferry flight bound for Noemfoor with a refueling stop at Tadi Airfield. Nothing was heard from either aircraft after departure. In the early 1960s, Beaufort A9-660 was located, but this aircraft has never been found.

Keyes was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is commemorated at the Lae Memorial in Lae War Cemetery panel 6.

CWGC - Raymond John Keyes
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-649
RAAF DB - Kittyhawk A29-649
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Information

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