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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 102527
Last updated: 24 December 2020
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Date:07-DEC-1939
Time:
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: 38-42
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Albrook Field, Canal Zone -   Panama
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Albrook Field, Canal Zone
Destination airport:
Narrative:
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 Potter was killed in the crash of one of these near Balboa while on a return flight from Rio Hato. By the end of 1939, the Squadron was "up to strength," with 12 P-36A's (the Squadron color was yellow at the time), one Captain (the Squadron Commander), 11 Second Lieutenants and 142 enlisted ranks. Effective 6 December 1939, the unit was officially redesignated as the 24th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor).

The inexperience of the units pilots was highlighted on 7 December 1939, when the P-36A 38-42 was damaged beyond repair in a crash shortly after takeoff from Albrook Field due to nearly completely empty fuel tanks! The pilot, Van H Slayden, survived the crash.

Sources:

http://usafunithistory.com/PDF/20-29/24%20FIGHTER%20SQ.pdf
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1940sB4/1939.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrook_Air_Force_Station
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=8.975900&lon=-79.555531&z=13


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Dec-2017 11:54 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Mar-2020 18:34 DB Updated [Operator, Operator]

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