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On 27 February 1942, USAAF P-40E Kittyhawk, #41-5328, piloted by 28 year old 2nd Lieutenant Oliver B. Vodrey crashed at Wyong in New South Wales. It was damaged beyond repair.

2nd Lt Vodrey's daughter, Becky Vodfrey told me that her father, survived the crash and eventually passed away in June 2001. He was involved in at least one other crash. One of these was at Batchelor in the Northern Territory on 2 June 1942.

Becky Vodfrey told me that her father caught his hand when closing the cockpit, and sliced off his fingers. Apparently the local doctor was not interested in doing the repair, telling Lt Vodrey that he did not really need them!!

2nd Lt. Oliver Vodrey put his severed fingers on ice and drove himself to another (hospital?) medical location, where they did re-attach three of his fingers, and they eventually worked fine. His little finger or "pinkie" as he called it, was left without the tip and fingernail, though. Becky told me that he loved recounting that story to friends and family after the war.

Jennifer E. Russell told me that Lt. Vodrey flew with her grandfather Lt Lawrence Hansen, Lt Steere and the first Lt Posten of the 7th Squadron - Screamin Demons.

Gordon Birkett told me that Lt Vodrey was issued that aircraft on 26 February 1942 (the previous day) and the date of it going to Depot was the 26 March 1942 per 49th Pursuit Group records



Document prepared by 1st Lt. Elmore G. Brown, titled:-

"Headquarters, USA Air Forces in Australia
A-4. Aircraft Movements Status & Statistics Section
Location and Status of Damaged Aircraft in Australia"



I'd like to thank Chris Jamesson and Gordon Birkett for their assistance with this web page.

I'd also like to thank Becky Vodrey, daughter of 2nd Lieutenant Oliver B. Vodrey, for her assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


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This page first produced 9 June 2001

This page last updated 30 March 2013