Pearl Harbor Survivor Returning to United States

The world’s oldest Curtis P-40B Warhawk fighter, which survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, will join the Collings Foundation, announced the Massachusetts-based, non-profit organization. A “very generous sponsor” made possible the foundation’s acquisition of the airplane from the Fighter Collection in Duxford, England, which had operated the airworthy airframe since 2003, according to the foundation’s release. Shipment of the now-disassembled P-40B, serial number 41-13297, is underway, states the release. Robert Collings, the foundation’s executive director, said the airplane is expected to participate in the 75th anniversary commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack in 2016, reported Fox News on Dec. 7. The Army Air Corps aircraft escaped destruction during the attack 72 years earlier in a maintenance hangar at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, where it was undergoing repairs, according to the foundation. However, some six weeks later, on Jan. 24, 1942, the aircraft crashed into a Hawaiian mountainside, killing its pilot. Recovery of the aircraft began in 1985; restoration started four years later in Torrance, Calif. The Collings Foundation restores World War II-era aircraft and displays and flies them at airfields across the country. (See also Airpower Classics P-40 entry from Air Force Magazine’s archives.)