CRASH LANDING OF A P-40E WARHAWK
AT BATCHELOR AIRFIELD, NT
ON 31 MARCH 1942

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After 1:00 pm on 31 March 1942, a flight of Warhawks (Kittyhawks) led by 2nd Lieutenant Andy Reynolds from the 9th Pursuit Squadron of the 49th Pursuit Group, headed from Beagle Gulf southwest towards the mainland and met a formation of Japanese aircraft headed to bomb Darwin. A vicious dogfight took place. Reynolds shot down a Zero off the north shore of Cox Peninsula.

The P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk) #41-5574 "Elmer" of rookie 2nd Lieutenant Jim Porter was damaged when machine gun fire shredded his rudder. He returned to Batchelor RAAF airfield and made a belly landing next to the runway. The aircraft was subsequently condemned on 1 April 1942 and was to be salvaged for spare parts. It was however repaired again back to flying status.

 


Photo:- Charles W. Malsbury, 135th Medical Regiment, Co. "B" via Robb Paul

P-40E Warhawk #41-5574 "Elmer" after its forced landing. You
can see the radiators and lower cowl behind the aircraft

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 30 November 2017

This page last updated 05 March 2020