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keith A 24th March 2021 11:48

John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
All the photos I have seen of Landers P-40E "Texas Longhorn" show five Japanese flags underneath the cockpit. This is odd because Landers claimed at least two (probably four) victories in his previous P40E-1 "Skeeter" but then added two more in the same mission in December 1942 (Oscars not Zeroes). If "Texas Longhorn" was the P40E he was then shot down and baled out from during this mission there would be four flags not five.

I note that Landers claimed five "Bettys" as kills during his first successful air combat but this was reduced to two when it was decided he had attacked three bombers which were already damaged. Could it be that he was still claiming these five when he received "Texas Longhorn"?


Laurent Rizzotti 25th March 2021 12:38

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
The explanation is probably that pilots and their ground crews did not wait for official claim confirmation to paint victory symbols on their planes. If this pilot claimed 5 victories, five Japanese flags were probably painted just after.

Buckeye30 25th March 2021 16:01

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
Keith. Just checked Peter's site here...."Texas Longhorn" survived 1942 crashing in the sea ( Australia) in May 1943; serial was 41-35954 (an E-1). RAAF serial A29-125 ex-RAF-ET600.

keith A 26th March 2021 08:22

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
Perhaps it shows the claims of several pilots? I am leaning towards Landers making five claims in his April combat but it would depend on how long it took for the revised confirmations to come in. It does seem to me that the group IO would have made the decision quickly but without the combat report I cannot confirm if he was awarded two or five. It could also mean that his initial kills were all claimed in "Texas Longhorn" and none in "Skeeter", but I confess the fact that he was flying another aircraft in his last combat surprises me.

Buckeye30 26th March 2021 22:43

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
Keith. Seems he was flying 41-25164 (an E-1) assigned to Capt. Ben Irvin as no. 75.


Buckeye30 27th March 2021 14:07

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
"Texas Longhorn" went to a Replacement Centre in Australia sometime in early Dec. ; Irvin ( "The Rebel" pilot) was sent home in Nov. 1942 so his E-1 41-25164 would have been available and flown by Landers at least once. Both in RAF camouflage; I think "Skeeter" no.81 was in OD/NG as she wasn't Lend-Lease. "Rebel" was no. 75.

Thought I should add this 7min. video of 9FS for those interested in P-40s in 1942, includes "The Rebel"; it shows the RAF camouflage on them ,and artwork / tail numbers.


Edward 1st April 2021 23:56

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
P-40E "Texas Longhorn" crashed near Kokoda, New Guinea on 2 March 1943.

I visited the crashsite in 2014 and there was enough of the nose art remaining to confirm the id.

Buckeye30 5th April 2021 19:13

Re: John Landers and "Texas Longhorn"
Gordon's great ADF site explains the serials anomoly; ET600 / 41-35954 was the original "Longhorn" lost with pilot Zendarski, one cowl panel was added to ET889 / 41-36243 which was lost near Kokoda as you say. There is a colour photo as it was found on this page....
go down to "CURTISS CORNER P-40E-1" ( RAAF serial A29-125 was assigned to 2 Kittyhawks as he explains).

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