42-46255

 

On 17 October 1943 a P-40K-1, # 42-46255, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Squadron, 25th Fighter Squadron, Yunnanyi, China, departed the airfield on a mission to bomb enemy positions on the banks of the Salween River near Lukou. The pilot was Capt. Jack Terry Irwin, # 0-421105. His fighter was seen to crash after the explosion of some para-fragmentary bomb on his fighter. The crash was on the east side of the Salween River near Lukou. A well drawn sketch is in the fold3.com MACR folder. A witness was 1stLt Nicholas Kortco, 0-790268. 1stLt Kortco reported that the flight was of four P-40 fighters. They arrived over the target at about 0935 and started the attack from 12,000’. When Capt. Irwin released the # 6 frag it exploded immediately, tearing off a wing at about 7,000’ altitude. The fighter kept burning and spinning until it crashed and there was another explosion. Lt.Col. Paul C. Droz, Commander of the 25th Fighter Squadron, reported that a reconnaissance flight of two P-40s went to the crash scene. The crashed P-40 was found ½ mile south-southwest of Lukou. It was still burning. Another flight of two were overhead at about 1330-1345 hours. Chinese sources report there were survivors from other crashes.

 

IRWIN, JACK TERRY, Captain, # 0-421105, USAAF

 

Jack Terry Irwin was born on 4 November 1917 in Joplin, Missouri, to Manford Schoonover Irwin (1894-1937) and Susie J. (Gulley) Westerman nee Irwin (1898-1974) . A sibling was Robert Manford Irwin (1925-2006). He attended Phoenix College, Phoenix, Arizona.

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, employed by the Witt Ira & Gas Co., resided at 764 E. Willetta, Phoenix, AZ, and described himself as 5’9”, 162 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF as an aviation cadet on 26 November 1940, he completed flight school through advanced for the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, earned his commission and pilot wings in May 1941. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 17 October 1943 a P-40K-1, # 42-46255, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Squadron, 25th Fighter Squadron, Yunnanyi, China, departed the airfield on a mission to bomb enemy positions on the banks of the Salween River near Lukou. The pilot was Capt. Jack Terry Irwin, # 0-421105, on his last operational flight before returning to the U.S.A. His fighter was seen to crash after the explosion of some para-fragmentary bomb on his fighter. The crash was on the east side of the Salween River near Lukou. A well drawn sketch is in the fold3.com MACR folder. A witness was 1stLt Nicholas Kortco, 0-790268. 1stLt Kortco reported that the flight was of four P-40 fighters. They arrived over the target at about 0935 and started the attack from 12,000’. When Capt. Irwin released the # 6 frag it exploded immediately, tearing off a wing at about 7,000’ altitude. The fighter kept burning and spinning until it crashed and there was another explosion. Lt.Col. Paul C. Droz, Commander of the 25th Fighter Squadron, reported that a reconnaissance flight of two P-40s went to the crash scene. The crashed P-40 was found ½ mile south-southwest of Lukou. It was still burning. Another flight of two were overhead at about 1330-1345 hours. Chinese sources report there were survivors from other crashes. After recovery from China, his remains were interred in the Greenwood Memorial Park, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.