|Pilot F/Sgt George F. Inkster, 402292 (KIA, BR) Manly, NSW
Crashed August 11, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructors Number 19131. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40E Warhawk serial number 41-25112. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number ET436. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled as part of lend-lease.
During April 1942, delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Kittyhawk A29-84. Assigned to 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On April 27, 1942 assigned to 75 Squadron.
On May 9, 1942 during take off from Aitkenvale Weir Airfield piloted by P/O Peter Howard Ash, 260771 this aircraft collided with P-40E Kittyhawk A29-88, damaging the flaps.
On July 29, 1942 assigned to 76 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. This aircraft operated from Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip) near Milne
On August 11, 1942 took off from Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip) piloted by
F/Sgt George F. Inkster as one of twenty-two P-40s from 75 Squadron and 76 Squadron intercepting Japanese aircraft attacking Milne Bay. During the air combat, this P-40 was set on fire by gunfire from the Zeros. Pilot Inkster attempted to bail out at 200' and his parachute only partially opened before hitting the ground and was killed. Also lost was P-40E Kittyhawk A29-100 (MIA), P-40E Kittyhawk A29-123 (KIA) and P-40E Kittykawk A29-93 (KIA).
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of Inkster were recovered and transported to Port Moresby for burial.
Inkster was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, Sheldon was permanently buried at Bomana War Cemetery at grave A3, D, 17.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40E-1 Warhawk 41-25112
"41-25112 (ET436, MSN 19131) to RAAF as A29-84 Apr 1942. Lost to enemy action over Goodenough Island [sic] Aug 11, 1942"
National Archives of Australia [NAA] 1949, Aircraft Status cards - Kittyhawk A29-100 to A29-199
Note, the status card for P-40E Kittyhawk A29-84 was lost at Goodenough Island incorrectly.
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-84
George Frederick Inkster
All in a Day's Work: Some Experiences of 45 RAAF Pilots 1939-1945 by Bruce Brown, Chapter 6
"[August 11, 1942] On that day we lost two pilots from 75 Squadron being Sheldon and Shelely and two pilots from 76 Squadron being Inkster and McLeod.
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May 5, 2018