ON 29 MARCH 1943

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P-70 Havoc #39-768 "Dusty" made a wheels up belly landing after mechanical failure at Garbutt Airfield in Townsville on 29 March 1943. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

This aircraft was a "Fat Cat" aircraft acquired by the 341st Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group to make supply runs between Australia and New Guinea. They stripped a lot of military equipment from the aircraft which would not be required for "Fat Cat" runs. This made the aircraft a fairly "hot ship" as described by pilot James Curran a former member of the 341st Fighter Squadron.

In an earlier life this aircraft was flown by 1st Lt. Fred Secord of Detachment "A", 6th Night Fighter Squadron at 7 Mile Airfield (Jackson), Port Moresby, New Guinea. It was one of a number of the first A-20G/J/J Havocs that were converted to a P-70 Havoc with the installation of a nose mounted radar and a 20mm gun tub in the bomb bay.

The aircraft was eventually salvaged in late January 1944.



I'd like to thank Terry Popravak for his assistance with this web page. Terrence is a USAF veteran who is assisting the family of the late Mr James Curran.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


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This page first produced 16 January 2013

This page last updated 29 March 2013