|Pilot 2nd Lt. William R. Marlott, O-428516 (survived)
Crashed July 4, 1942
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AP378 and painted in a three-color camouflage scheme. Instead, delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On July 4, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Marlott in a line abreast formation on a mission to intercept a formation of Japanese aircraft. Intercepted by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai.
During the combat, Marlott's Airacobra was able to evade the attacking Zeros, but his engine quit forcing him to bail out. Also lost were P-39F 41-7148 and P-400 Airacobra AP378 and this aircraft.
Fates of the Pilot
Marlott landed in the foothills roughly 30 miles northeast of 30 Mile Drome (Rogers). After five days, he returned to his squadron.
Joe Baugher "Airacobra I for RAF, P-400"
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis
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June 29, 2019