Michael Drake Collection
337th Fighter Group
The following photos, showing P-40s of the 98th and 303rd Fighter Squadrons, 337th Fighter Group
(and 'A' & 'B' Squadrons of the 336th Air Base Unit (Replacement Training Unit, Fighter),
are part of the Michael Drake collection, held by the State Library & Archives of Florida
and presented on their Florida Memory website.
P-40s of the 303rd Fighter Squadron, lined up for inspection at Sarasota on April 10th, 1943.
Two unidentified airmen, a pilot and wrench-turner, pose with the Group C.O.'s ship.
Ships of the 303rd Fighter Squadron can be seen in the background.
An unidentified pilot in the cockpit of a 303rd Fighter Squadron P-40N.
An anonymous wrench-turner attends to a P-40K.
P-40K 42-10187, flown by Donnell D. Owens of the 303rd FS, after a fatal crash due to engine failure.
The following info accompanied the photo:
"On March 15, 1944 a pilot from Sarasota Army Air Field lost control of his P-40 Warhawk aircraft
and crashed into a seawall on Bird Key, near the John Ringling estate. The pilot did not survive."
May 18th, 1944... P-40K 42-9998 came to grief at Sarasota with Thomas J. Taylor behind the stick.
I have conflicting info as to the date and cause of this wheels-up landing; one source cites fuel
starvation, while the following info that accompanied the photo simply states:
"The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk pictured here near the runway of Sarasota Army Air Field crashed
on May 19, 1944 after its landing gear failed to deploy."
At this point in time, the 337th Fighter Group had officially ceased to exist, being superceded
by the 336th Air Base Unit (Replacement Training Unit, Fighter). Likewise, the squadrons of the
337th FG were also out of business... so this Hawk, formerly of the 303rd FS, was operated by
'B' Squadron of the 336th ABU at the time of the accident.
Another unidentified airman with a P-40N of the 303rd Fighter Squadron.
Five 98th Fighter Squadron pilots at Sarasota...
...and mostly the same group with one of the 98th's P-40Ns.
Two pilots and a wrench-turner of the 98th Fighter Squadron with one of their P-40Ks.
A P-40K and P-40N of the 98th Fighter Squadron high above the Florida Landscape.
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