This build is the Airfix kit representing 1st Lt. Kenneth W. Sprankle’s P-40B, registration 41-13297, assigned to the 6th Pursuit Squadron of the 18th Pursuit Group based at Wheeler Field on Oahu. Although the kit appears to show the aircraft in combat during the attack on Pearl Harbor, it’s actually better known for other reasons.
First of all, the plane wasn’t in action on December 7 – because it had been damaged several weeks earlier in a crash on landing. Under repair in a hangar, it wasn’t damaged in the attack, even though the hangar collapsed around it..
On 24 January 1942 1st Lt Kenneth Wayne Sprankle of 6th PS /18th PG took off from Wheeler Field, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii for a patrol in the repaired 41-13297. He was flying over Koolau Range, Oahu, when he was unable to recover from an inverted spin and was killed when the fighter crashed into the range.
The aircraft remained in the side of the cliff until 1989, when it was recovered and restored by Curtiss Wright Historical Association, using parts from 39-285 and 39-287. It was then sold to The Fighter Collection, Duxford, England and displayed for a number of years before returning to the U.S.. It has been restored to flying condition.
This is the second P-40 I have built recently. The previous one was a Trumpeter kit as a Flying Tiger. I was not happy with the canopy, but the kit overall went together easily.