The Fighter Collection’s Merlin-engined P-40F is one of only two left airworthy anywhere in the world. Manufactured at the Curtiss facility in Buffalo, New York in the autumn of 1942 and allocated Bu No. 41-19841. She was delivered by land to the Stockton In-Transit Depot in California for onward shipment in November, where she was then shipped to the Thirteenth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific on Christmas Eve 1942. Unfortunately her service career remains a mystery, but the only P-40Fs to see combat in the Pacific Theatre were flown by the 44th and the 68th Fighter Squadrons of the 347th Fighter Group in the Solomon Islands from November 1942 to October 1943.
Our Warhawk ended her wartime career when she was condemned by the USAAF in November 1943, when she was dumped on the largest of Vanautu’s islands, Espiritu Santo. She was recovered from the island in the 1970s, and acquired by The Fighter Collection some years later and stored in Australia until the restoration commenced in Wangaratta, Victoria. The in-depth restoration was completed in early 2011 and our P-40F made her first flight for 68 years in April.2011
Due to the lack of information on her service history, our P-40F wears the stunning scheme of Lee’s Hope from the 85th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group, which was flown by Lt Robert J Duffield from Capodichino airfield, southern Italy in early 1944.