CRASH OF A P-400
AT WOODSTOCK, QLD
ON 10 MAY 1942

 

P-39 Airacobra

 

2nd Lt. David L. Silverman (0-427011), a new pilot assigned to the 39th Pursuit Squadron, 35th Pursuit Group was killed landing on the center strip at Woodstock airfield on 10 May 1942. It was probably a P-400. The aircraft was burnt and the pilot was thrown across the right wing also burnt leaving just a torso. It is believed that he had taken off and made an almost immediate attempt to land.

David Silverman had joined the USAAF in Texas. He is listed on the Honolulu Memorial, in Honolulu, Hawaii. One of David's best friends was Wayne Shoup (Can anyone help me with information on Wayne Shoup?).

 

2nd Lt. David L. Silverman (0-427011)

 

Mayor Milton F. Gray of Malvern and staff including in front row Col R. Moss, Australia, and to his right Capt. Swanson. In rear second from right is David Silverman. Also U.S. officers included are Wayne Shoup and Bill Plain yet unidentified (awaiting Shoup's son to ID).

 

Roy Seher was a new ground crewman assigned to the 39th Squadron on the morning of this tragic crash.  Roy remembers a few of the squadron's aircraft flying around. Pre-flight checks for other aircraft on the ground were over, and the sun was warming the morning air and all was quiet.  Roy did not pay much attention to the sound of the P-39 above, until the engine suddenly revved above normal.  Then there was a thud and the sound of debris skidding across the ground. Roy did not see a fire, but he remembers the aircraft was torn apart.  All of this took place beyond a row of gum trees, so Roy saw nothing of it until later.  That was the first major accident Roy was to witness in the war and each sickening jolt of the event never diminished for him.

 

Other e-mails from Charles King

 

 

35th Fighter Group

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Charlie King and Roy Seher for their assistance. I'd also like to thank Stan Silverman for the above photographs.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 25 March 2000

This page last updated 30 August 2015