Curtiss P-40E Defence of Port Moresby

Built by:Michael Turner
Kit:1/48 Hasegawa P-40E Warhawk, JT86
Kit Media:Plastic
Modifications and
Built ‘Out Of Box’
Unit:RAAF, 75 Sqn
Location:Port Moresby, Territory of Papua, 1942
Pilot:Flt. Lt. Les Jackson

Area of Operations


The Battle of Port Moresby commenced on 3rd February 1942 with an attack by Imperial Japanese
Navy Air Force (IJNAF) aircraft. The initial attacks were met with anti-aircraft fire and it was only
with the arrival, on the 23rd of March, of the Kittyhawks of 75 Squadron to 7 Mile Drome, that Port
Moresby had a fighter air defence.

Thrust into combat with minimal training, 75 Sqn held the line alone against seasoned IJN pilots for
44 days until relieved by the 35th and 36th Pursuit (Fighter) Squadrons of the US Army Air Force
(USAAF) 8th Pursuit (Fighter) Group.

During their time in the defence of Port Moresby, 75 Sqn lost 21 aircraft and 12 pilots, including the
Commanding Officer Sqn. Ldr. John ‘Old John’ Jackson. Command of 75 Sqn then passed to his
younger brother, F/L Les Jackson, who survived the war with 5 kills to his credit.

Les flew A29-29/I on the 17th of April when he single-handedly attacked a formation of five G4M
‘Betty’ bombers and seven A6M2 ‘Zero’ fighters, shooting one Zero down. A29-29 was eventually lost on the 24th of April when it was shot down over Port Moresby with the
pilot F/Sgt Michael Seymour ‘Mick’ Butler surviving.

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