|Pilot 1st Lt. Robert W. Croft, O-794471 (survived)
Crashed December 4, 1943
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N Warhawk serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On December 4, 1943 took off from Gusap Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Robert W. Croft on a strafing mission against Japanese positions in Madang, Alexishafen and Dogomur Bay (Dogamur) on the north coast of New Guinea. Due to bad weather, this aircraft flew southward and crash landed in the Fly River area near Dauan Island. When this aircraft failed to return it was reported as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fate of the Pilot
Croft landed unhurt and was found by local people who cared for him for three days. Afterwards, they took him to a timber camp operated by the Australian Army. Afterwards, he was rescued from Daru Island by a PBY Catalina and transported to Port Moresby and admitted to the 117th Station Hospital and was released on December 19, 1943 and returned to duty.
49th Fighter Group History frame 541
49th Fighter Group application for sick leave Croft
PNG Museum Aircraft Card - P-40N piloted by Croft
Corresponence between Robert W. Croft and the PNG Museum, February 8, 1982
Protect and AvengThe 49th Fighter Group in WWII pages ???
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May 6, 2018