CRASH OF A P-40 KITTYHAWK
DURING A JAPANESE AIR RAID
ON DARWIN RAAF AIRFIELD
ON 27 APRIL 1942

 

On 27 April 1942, the Japanese carried out an air raid on the Darwin RAAF airfield. The air raid started at 12.07pm. 

4 Flights of the 8th Pursuit Squadron ("The Blacksheep") engaged the enemy. In all there were almost 50 Kittyhawks from the 3 Squadrons of the 49th Fighter Group in the air.

The sky was filled with aircraft and tracer bullets. 2nd Lt. Harvey Martin, Jr, was separated from Blue Flight in the clouds above Cox Peninsular and was shot down by a Japanese fighter aircraft. His aircraft crashed onto the coast just south of the Cape Charles lighthouse. Martin spent the night in a tree looking out across the Timor Sea.

An RAAF patrol led by Lieutenant Molyneaux, was dispatched to look for 2nd Lt. Harvey Martin, Jr. Instead they initially found the bare footed 2nd Lt. Steven Andrews who had also been shot down in the same area. They took Andrews to the lighthouse where he spent the night.

The next day John Murry, the tracker with the RAAF patrol discovered Martin and took him back to the lighthouse as well. Martin and Andrews were later taken to Darwin by motor launch.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I'd like to thank Harvey Martin III, first son of 2nd Lt. Harvey Martin, Jr. for his assistance with this home page.

 

FOOTNOTE

In Nov 2002, 2nd Lt. Harvey Martin, Jr., was 87 years old and living in Clearwarer, FL. Harvey continued his career with the Air Force and retired a Lieutenant Colonel. Harvey was stationed in Australia from January 1942 until August 1942. He was then was reassigned to the 374th Troop Carrier Group, 22nd Squadron and was stationed out of New Guinea. He had also been involved in another crash on 16 June 1942 off Melville Island during a Japanese bombing raid on Darwin.

 

REFERENCE

"Protect & Avenge"
"The 49th Fighter Group in World War II"

By S.W. Ferguson & William K. Pascalis
A Schiffer Military History Book

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 14 July 2000

This page last updated 04 April 2017