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Old 24th July 2020, 19:47
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Japanese balloon shoot down by USAAF P-63 - March 1945

Not sure if in right section, but here goes.

In March 1945 a 4th Air Force P-63 Kingcobra pilot achieved the only 'kill' in this type in USAAF service. P-63 was based at Walla Walla, Washington State, on the border with Oregon.
Victim was a Japanese fire balloon that was chased by 3 x P-63s from Oregon to Nevada, with some fuel stops on the way.

There are quite some websites about the Japanese balloon attacks on the US West Coast that tell the P-63 story, but the name of the somewhat unique pilot here remains a mystery.

(The P-38 pilot who earlier shot down a balloon over California was 1/Lt Clinton Bergen)

Any lead or info welcome, thanks.

Regards,
Leendert
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Old 25th July 2020, 22:07
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Japanese balloon shoot down by USAAF P-63 - March 1945

I think Walla Walla Army Air Field at this time was a combat crew training center for B-24 crews. I believe P-63s were used to train the B-24 gunners. One type of P-63 (called the RP-63) had extra armor and carried no guns. The B-24 gunners actually fired frangible bullets at them.

https://www.airspacemag.com/military...t-me-57581298/

See page 1 and page 13 about the RP-63
http://www.pmlaa.org/newsletters/2003-03.pdf

For the curious, Joseph F Cotton's MACR: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/90902611


The other type was a standard P-63 and the gunners used camera type devices on their guns to photograph the attacking fighters as they aimed and "fired" their guns. It is possible that the P-63s were of the second type and were part of the base training unit at Walla Walla.

Last edited by RSwank; 26th July 2020 at 17:41.
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Old 26th July 2020, 14:54
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Japanese balloon shoot down by USAAF P-63 - March 1945

Leendert, I think the 423rd Base Unit (or 423rd CCTS -Combat Crew Training Station-Heavy) was the training unit at Walla Walla.

http://usafunithistory.com/PDF/0400/...ASE%20UNIT.pdf

Look at the accident list here: https://www.aviationarchaeology.com/...y/Mar1945S.htm

Note that some B-24 accidents involved B-24s at Walla Walla. Also look at all the P-63 accidents and how most were assigned to training or base units.

Or this one: https://www.aviationarchaeology.com/...y/Feb1945S.htm, which shows P-63 42-69086 crashing on 2/27/1945. It was assigned to the 423rd BU at Walla Walla.

Last edited by RSwank; 29th July 2020 at 03:27.
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