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  P-40E Warhawk Serial Number ? Squadron Number 61
5th AF
49th FG
8th FS

Click For Enlargement
Wilkinson Egimbari 2001

Click For Enlargement
Phil Bradley 2009
Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert Howard (survived)
Crashed  November 9, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40E Warhawk serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 49th Fighter Group (49th FG), 8th Fighter Squadron (8th FS). Assigned to pilot William "Bill" Day. Assigned squadron number "61". No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On November 9, 1942 took off 3 Mile (Kila) near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert Howard on a mission. While attempting to land at Myola, this P-40 overran the landing and crashed into trees near the camp area of the Australian Army 2/6 Field Ambulance.

Fates of the Pilot
Howard survived the crash with only minor injuries.

Soon after the crash, he was rescued by soldiers from the Australian Army and walked the Kokoda Trail back to Port Moresby and returned to duty two days later.

The wreckage of this P-40 remains near Myola including the engine, wing with "U. S. Army" still visible on the lower surface of the wing and a piece of armor plate.

Protect & Avenge page 87
"The next day [November 9, 1942], rookie 2Lt. Bob Howard failed to get enough power out of #61, the Warhawk he had borrowed from veteran Bill Day for the morning mission. Only minutes from 3 Mile, #61 seized up and Howard attempted an emergency belly landing on the tiny supply flight strip on the southern slope near Myola. The fighter slid off the wet runway and slammed into the undergrowth. He emerged from the wreck with minor abrasions and was soon found by an Aussie patrol who escorted him back down the trail [Kokoda Trail] to the Port Moresby dispensary. Howard was on flight duty at 3 Mile two days later when expressed his regrets to Day for the loss of the new plane."
Flightpath Magazine "Kokoda Walk Warhawk" August 2012
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Phil Bradley for additional information

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Last Updated
February 5, 2020


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