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  P-47D-16-RE Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-75921  
5th AF

Daniel Leahy 2014

Aircraft History
Built by Republic at Farmingdale, NY. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as . Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), unit assignment unknown. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On October 29, 1944 took off on a ferry flight and became lost, low on fuel and force landed with the landing gear retracted on the beach to the north of Weipa along with P-47D "Tojo Special" 42-23249.

The next day, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) PV-1 Ventura located both P-47s and both pilots were rescued.

During December 1944, a U. S. Army demolition team blew up the wreckage.

The tail section was salvaged by RAAF No. 27 Squadron by Flt Lt Pat Kenny and WO Bruce Hurst and later donated to the Australian War Memorial (AWM). It is now in storage at the Treloar Technology Centre (AWM Annex).

The propeller from this aircraft was donated to the RAAF Museum.

Rob Staughton visited the site in 2000:
"I work for Comalco in Weipa and arrived here 2 years ago. I heard about the wrecks not long after, but it has taken this long for the curiosity to get the better of me and go to have a look. About 10 days ago my wife and I drove around to Duyfken Point to have a look at them. It was about 250 km round trip and took us most of the day. 70 km of it was driving along the beach and sand dunes. The planes are in a very poor state. They are about 75 metres from the ocean and about 100 metres apart. One is more complete than the other, but there is still very little left. One has it's motor nearby, no propeller, the wings, engine exhaust and assorted pieces of aluminum sheet lying around. The other has wings and a pile of pieces, nothing bigger than a shoe box, that have been placed there by someone. Neither of them have a fuselage."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-47D-16-RE Thunderbolt 42-75921
"75921 in force landing Oct 28, 1944 when on ferry flight in New Guinea after ran low on fuel after getting lost. Landed gear up on beach near Weipa, Aust. US demolition team blew it up Dec 1944."
Mrs M. Little (courtesy of Geoff Wharton, ex-Comalco) rescue of pilots
Thanks to Keith Hopper for additional information

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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