Dutch Harbor (Battle of Midway era) Tiger on tap for Atlanta

One of the Texas Flying Legend Museum’s enduring fleet of P-40s.

p-40e-texas-warhawk-from-the-texas-flying-legend-museum

Texas Warhawk

And she has a great history. From the Commemorative Air Force’s Website:

This P-40E is a cold weather survivor coming out of Elmendorf Field in Anchorage, Alaska. The plane rolled off of the assembly line on January 13th, 1942 as a Curtiss Model H87-A3. The military accepted her as P-40E s/n 41-5709. America was still recovering from the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese were marauding up and down the Aleutian Island Chain. On June 3rd, 1942 the Japanese attacked Fort Mears and Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians. P-40s scrambled from Fort Randall but were too late to turn the Japanese back. The Japanese attacked Dutch Harbor again the next day, but this time American P-40s disrupted the force, shooting down one bomber. On June 5th, 1942 daily P-40 patrols started up in an effort to prevent surprise attacks.On September 26th, 1942, P-40E 41-5709 departed Fort Randall with 1st Lt. Dennis Crisp at the controls as part of the two-ship, daily patrol. Upon landing in the formation, his wingman landed long and ran into 5709′s tail.

Both planes were write-offs that day and ended up on the scrap heap in Cold Bay after the salvage of all usable parts.

The late Dick Odgers and a team of enthusiasts started excavating the dump at Cold Bay in 1987 and recovered significant chunks of 41-5709 among other wrecks. Odgers sold on his projects over the years, and by 1990 ’5709 was with Don Brooks in Douglas, Georgia. She was ready to fly again by August 25th, 2009, when Eliot Cross, a proven test pilot and air show performer, took 41-5709 to the skies again for the first time in 67 years. After the test flights were done, Ray Fowler, Chief Pilot and Executive Producer of the Liberty Foundation, got a turn at the stick and after several hours of flying the P-40E he convinced the board to purchase the fighter to go on tour with their B-17. They removed the rear fuel tank and installed a seat for passenger rides. Walter Bowe purchased the P-40E in 2013, who in turn sold the fighter to the Texas Flying Legends Museum in 2014, although Bowe remains a regular pilot. The P-40E wears the colors of Colonel Robert L. Scott Jr’s aircraft while he commanded the 23rd Fighter Group in the China-Burma-India Theatre during WWII.

She will be one of 7 P-40s at the upcoming 2016 Atlanta Warbird Weekend Sept 24-25, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) so if you are in Georgia or can get there, it will be worth it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.