CRASH OF A P-39D AIRACOBRA
INTO MORETON BAY, QLD
ON 30 MAY 1942

 

2nd Lieutenant Ernest A. Naunamm O-427762 (Class 41G) of the 80th Pursuit Squadron of the 8th Pursuit Group based at Petrie Airfield north of Brisbane parachuted out of P-39D-BE Airacobra #40-3011 over Moreton Bay east of Brisbane at 1045 hours on 30 May 1942. The aircraft crashed into the waters of Moreton Bay and its probably still there somewhere. The incident happened following an Immelmann turn when the Airacobra went into a flat spin following a stall with its throttle stuck in full open.

2nd Lieutenant Ernest A. Naunamm was slightly injured during the incident.

Gordon Birkett advised that the aircraft was here in Australia for two weeks only, with 183.8hrs on the clock from its past use in the 31st Pursuit Group in USA and a few hours this side of the ocean. The following are more details on the aircraft's history provided by Gordon Birkett.

40-3011    Model 12-21    P-39D-BE    Destination Sumac    Shipped USAAF 18-Feb-42    Arrived Brisbane 9-Mar-42    Off 31-May-42    Unit 80th PS/8th FG ex 31st PG IRC

Details:- Contracted as Model 12's P39C's constructed as Model 15's P39D's Contract W535ac 13383 Cost $41479.00 . Accepted 30/06/41 Selfridge 30/06/41 Fresno 14/12/41 Everett 27/12/41 , McChord 30/12/41. SacD (Sacramento Air Depot) 11/01/42 San Francisco POE-1 22/01/42 per order "ST200323 X" sailed 18/02/42-09/03/42 Brisbane, assembled Amberley RAAF Station: Off Sumac 15/05/42 Left Con AFMSC 31/05/42 TTHrs 183.8 FY42/02: P-39D was abandoned over Moreton Bay 1045hrs following an Immelmann and went into a flat spin following a stall with its throttle stuck in full open. Pilot, 2nd Lt Ernest A Naunamm O-427762 Class 41G was slightly injured after taking to his parachute.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Gordon R. Birkett for providing the details of this accident.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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 Peter Dunn OAM 2020

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This page first produced 27 September 2021

This page last updated 28 September 2021