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Kittyhawks with 6-character serials?


Seahawk
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Verbatim quote of a note from Kenneth Meekcom's The British Air Commission and Lend-Lease (Air Britain, 2000), p.109, re deliveries of Kittyhawk IAs (P-40E-1):

 

"Aircraft were delivered with serials up to ET1029 and appear in squadron ORBs.  Presumably they should have changed over at EV100."

 

I don't doubt the accuracy of Meekcom's statement but does anyone have photographic evidence of these Kittyhawks serialled ET plus 4 numbers?  They seem to have escaped the attention of Bruce Robertson (British Military Aircraft Serials, 4th Ed) though Halley's Royal Air Force Aircraft EA100-EV999 lists 12 aircraft in the ET1016-ET1029 range: they seem to have served mostly with Australian and South African units in the desert.  ET1017 served with 112 Sq (lost 28/8/42) but no photo (that I can see) in Robin Brown's Shark Squadron.

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No photographs.

 

Air Arsenal North America notes serials up to around ET1029 were delivered, correct they should have been EV100 to 128, though some of the EV serials are reported to have been used.  The Christopher Shores et al books note some of the serials when lost.

The RAF Serial registers have entries for
ET102 on charge in November 1944.
ET1016 to ET1027, to Middle East mostly June and July 1942.

EV114 to 128, to Middle East mostly May and June 1942


The first 14 aircraft of this anomaly were sent to the USSR.  EV114 to EV126 all have a Taken on Charge Date, plus all are Struck Off Charge on 1 January 1947, essentially the entries can be ignored, their relevant ET record can be used, while the entry for ET1027 has no details of disposal and ET1028 is blank, so the EV entry can be used, that leaves EV129 Lost at Sea SOC 1 Jan 1944 and ET1029 Cat E 21 Sep 1942.  Using the EV numbers, 114, 127 and 128 lost at sea, no loss information is available for 115, 119, 122 and 126.  EV1025 is reported lost at sea on 1 June 1943, assumed to be after arrival in the Middle East.

 

450 squadron had ET1016, 1017, 1029.

Edited by Geoffrey Sinclair
typo correction
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Seahawk

 

As Geoffrey stated, Curtiss Pre-marked the serials when being built, however they forgot to stop at ET999 and continued up to ET1029 until the mistake was picked up (EV130 is unconfirmed - certainly EV131 was marked as EV131). As also stated ET1000-ET1013 to Russia, so leaves the following airframes:-

 

ET1014 - No SQN service known

ET1015 - See ET1018

ET1016 - 260/450/3 - Shot down by fighters 22nd Oct 1942

ET1017 - 3/112 - Shot down by fighters 28th Aug 1942

ET1018 - 450/4 - Shot down by Bf109 4th Nov 1942 (some confusion with ET1015 - both aircraft reported lost this date with the same pilot)

ET1019 - 2/1 METS/4 - Scrapped Middle East - Administrative SOC 1st Jan 1947

ET1020 - 2 - Shot down during engagement with Ju87 and Bf109 escort - 11th Jul 1942

ET1021 - 260/2 - Hit by AA and ditched into sea 29th Mar 43

ET1022 - 112/450/73OTU - Spun into ground during training flight - 4th Nov 1944

ET1023 - No SQN service known - Crashed and burnt out during test flight near Takoradi 24th Aug 1942

ET1024 - 112/250 - Shot down by Bf109/MC202 mainplane shot away - 15th Sep 1942

ET1025 - 3/5 - Shot down during engagement with Transports and escort - 19th Apr 1943

ET1026 - 260/2 - No further trace after engine failure and force landing 25th Jul 1943 - Administrative SOC 1st Jan 1947

ET1027 - 260/4 - No further trace after accident 11th May 1943 - Administrative SOC 1st Jan 1947

ET1028 - Sunk at sea during transit to Middle East

ET1029 - 450 - Shot down 23rd Aug 1942

(low digit numbers are SAAF (2/4/5) and RAAF (3) SQN's)

 

To the issue of photos, the number of aircraft effected is very small, even more so when you consider that only 17 of them were transferred to the RAF, so it amazing if photos exist, however luckily to date at least three have been seen (they are noted in bold above). Additionally a number of code to serial match up exist for these airframes, so for the modelers there is the ability to make a good example.

 

Regards

 

Buz

 

Edited by Buz
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Additions and corrections to my earlier message

 

From the Serial Registers,
ET1014
ET1015
ET1016 Middle East 30 June 1942, Cat E 22 Oct 1942 (Australian Archives, P/O Garth Angus Neill MIA)
ET1017 Middle East 4 July 1942, Cat E 30 Sep 1942
ET1018 Middle East 2 July 1942, Cat E 8 Dec 1942
ET1019 Middle East 29 June 1942
ET1020 Middle East 23 June 1942, Cat E 15 Jul 1942
ET1021 Middle East 3 July 1942, Cat E 2 Apr 1943
ET1022 Middle East 2 July 1942 (Australian Archives, F/Sgt Geoffrey Cook Swinbourne killed, airframe had 356 flying hours, high speed impact)
ET1023 Middle East 18 June 1942, Cat E 24 Aug 1942
ET1024 Middle East 28 June 1942, Cat E 27 Sep 1942
ET1025 Middle East 4 July 1942, Lost at Sea 1 Jun 1943
ET1026 Middle East 2 July 1942
ET1027 Middle East 2 July 1942
ET1028
ET1029 Middle East 11 July 1942, Cat E 21 Sep 1942 (Australian Archives, lost on 29 August, P/O Neil Hartley Shillabeer Killed)

EV114 to 126, Middle East June 1942, SOC 1 Jan 1947
EV127 to 129, Middle East 14 or 16 May 1942, all marked "in transit", all SOC 1 Jan 1944
EV130
EV131 New Zealand 21 May 1942.

 

From Shores et. al.

ET1018 4 SAAF Sqn 4 Nov 1942, 2/Lt. L.D. Sparg PoW, AK711 also lost that day plus damaged/crash landed, ET789, AK633, ET244

ET1025 lost with 2 Sqn SAAF

ET1029 lost 29 Aug 1942.

 

450 squadron unit history mentions July/August/September 1942, ET1013 (typo?, 1 mention), 1018, 1022, 1029, while ET1016, ET1017 (16 Jul), ET1025 were with 3 Squadron

 

On another topic late model P-40 deliveries to South Africa?

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Geoffrey

 

Can I ask which serial registries have that info??. Certainly interesting to see how long some of the aircraft took to write off, some being the same date as they were lost, others significantly longer (such as ET1025 taking 43days).

 

Buz

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