P-40B 41-13297

This Hawk was the first from the second batch of P-40Bs built for the USAAC, and was delivered in March of 1941.
Arriving in Hawaii the following month, 41-13297 was assigned to the 19th Pursuit Squadron, 18th Pursuit Group and
given the buzz number '284'. On October 28th, 1941 1Lt. Cecil J. Locke, Jr. ground-looped 41-13297 while landing
at Wheeler Field, and the ship was set aside for repairs. When the Japanese attacked Hawaii on December 7th, '284'
was still awaiting repair and survived that day of infamy without suffering further damage.

Image credit unknown - Larger Image

Soon thereafter, 41-13297 was returned to airworthy status. I have conflicting info as to which squadron she was
subsequently assigned to, but it seems to have been either the 6th or the 73rd. Unfortunately, on January 24th, 1942,
while conducting aerobatic maneuvers over the Ko'olau Mountain Range on what was reportedly his first familiarization
flight in a P-40, Lt. Kenneth W. Sprankle got into trouble. Apparently he slow-rolled 41-13297 and the engine quit
while inverted at about 8,500 feet. The ship entered an inverted spin and, with 2,500 foot mountains below, there was
not enough altitude to recover and Sprankle, after managing to right the ship, augered in, skidding into the mountainside.

Plane and pilot remained on that Hawaiin mountainside for more than forty years before the crash site was located in
1985. Eventually the wreck was recovered and, in 1989 or 1990, restoration work began in Torrance, California by the
newly-formed Curtiss Wright Historical Association under the name 'Project Tomahawk'.

Curtiss Wright Historical Association - Project Tomahawk

Work progressed slowly over the course of twelve years or so until 2002 when, due to financial considerations, the
project was transferred to Stephen Grey and The Fighter Collection. Work on the fuselage shifted to Matt Nightingale's
shop, California Aerofab, and the wings were rebuilt by Precision Aerospace in Australia.

Image credit unknown

Five years later, after final assembly in Chino, California, the newly rebuilt ship took to the air for the first time
on January 12th, 2007 and became the 'modern' world's first airworthy example of a Curtiss Model 81.

After a brief time in the USA, 41-13297 was shipped to the UK where she spent several years flying from Duxford with
The Fighter Collection. In 2013 the P-40B was purchased by an anonymous buyer and donated to the Collings Foundation.
She arrived in the USA on August 22nd, 2014 and was reassembled at American Aero Services in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Unfortunately, on October 29th, 2014, 41-13297 suffered a landing accident and was damaged substantially. The fuselage
is currently under rebuild at American Aero Services, with the wings being rebuilt in Idaho... though I cannot yet
confirm which shop is doing that work. Once I know more this page will be updated.

This P-40 is currently part of the Collings Foundation's collection.

You can view the entry for this P-40 in WRG's Warbird Registry HERE.

John Dibbs photo - Larger Image

John Dibbs photo - Larger Image

John Dibbs photo - Larger Image

John Dibbs photo - Larger Image

The following photos were taken at Duxford during the Flying Legends show in 2007.

Ben Allsup photo - Larger Image

Ben Allsup photo - Larger Image

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