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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 102526
Last updated: 23 April 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic p36 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss P-36A Hawk
Owner/operator:24th PSqn /16th PGp USAAC
Registration: 38-150
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Balboa, Canal Zone -   Panama
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Rio Hato AAF
Destination airport:
On 1 January 1939, the fortunes of 24th Pursuit Squadron, 16th Pursuit Group, were at a rather low ebb. With but six flying officers and 93 other ranks, the Squadron was mounted on
the Boeing P-26A and based since 1932 at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone. But as war in Europe became a reality, the Squadron was one of the first to be brought up to strength when, on 7 September 1939, 25 new Second Lieutenants arrived from Barksdale, Selfridge and Langley Fields. Between the date of their arrival and 7 December 1941, 13 of these young officers were reassigned to other Pursuit squadrons in the Canal Zone, and this marked the beginning of a policy whereby most of the Squadrons of the 16th and 32nd Pursuit Groups grew, almost literally, out of the 24th Pursuit Squadron.

In October 1939, the Squadron rejoiced when it received word that it was to re-equip with the new Curtiss P-36A's, although this euphoria was dampened on 17 November 1939 when Lt Philip Potter, 22, was killed in the crash of one of these near Balboa while on a return flight from Rio Hato. His P-36A 38-150 fell after its tail was torn off by the propeller of a second plane in formation flight. The second ship (the P-36A 38-37 flown by James A Barnett) was seriously damaged but landed safely.

The Capital Times from Madison, Wisconsin, 18 November 1939 (available online at,_Panama

Revision history:

07-Dec-2017 11:28 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Apr-2020 21:21 Reno Raines Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]

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