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Dec 12 2013

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Stephen Grey’s P-40B donated to Collings Foundation

Photo Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0)

Photo Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0)

As can be read in its latest newsletter, the Collings Foundation has received an extraordinary donation: the Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk s/n 41-13297 of Stephen Grey’s Fighter Collection It is the oldest flying P-40 and is also the last survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack.

The aircraft is currently being shipped to the US where it will be assembled and flown by the Collings Foundation.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2013/12/12/stephen-greys-p-40b-donated-to-collings-foundation/

5 comments

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  1. Kent Stephen Lentz

    Can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to hear that -297 is coming home to the U.S. Primary reason for that is because I am one of three cofounders of Project Tomahawk, named the project, was at various times its president, was at all times the project manager and chief builder. I restored and remanufactured the first parts of the A/C and worked on her the day she first flew 18 years later. During all this time I was also the main historian and took Hundreds of pix from the recovery of the two Sierra A/C thru the 12 years I was in charge -1989/2003 – and all the way thru Matt Nightingales completion. One of my missions in life now is to clear up the mistakes and misinformation that’s riff in the ongoing print & net history. I’ve been working on a book re. the project for the last several years. It’s about 400 pgs. & 75% pix & docs. It’s one step past the ‘cut & paste’ phase, and at this point I REALLY need some professional help to get it done. Would LOVE to have it ready for the 75th commemoration of P.H. attack. Any interest? Cheers, Kent

  2. LEE BRANCH

    YO, KENT:

    I VISITED YOU SEVERAL TIMES AT TORRANCE AND WAS ALWAYS IN AWE OF YOUR DEDICATION AND TALENT;

    ARE YOU YET AROUND THE L.A. AREA?

    GOOD TO KNOW -297 IS TO BE AROUND AGAIN! LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR BOOK!

    PERHAPS READERS WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THAT STORY OF HOW ONE OF THE ORIGINAL A.V.G. ENGINES CAME INTO YOUR POSSESSION? WASN’T IT THOUGHT THAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN RETURNED FROM CHINA FOR OVERHAUL AND THEN WAS FOUND BY JIM APPLEBY AT THE MECHANICS SCHOOL IN OAKLAND A FEW DECADES AGO?

    IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THOSE 100 P-40 ENGINES ACQUIRED BY CHENNAULT’S GROUP, WERE ORIGINALLY CONDEMNED FOR ONE REASON OR THE OTHER AND THUS AVAILABLE FOR THE SPECIAL LOT OF -40’S AVAILABLE FOR THE CHINA-BOUND SHIPS. IN ORDER TO BRING THE ENGINES BACK TO SPECS THEY WERE REPORTEDLY TORN DOWN AND REBUILT BY EXPERT ALLISON ENGINE TECHS. THIS ‘BLUEPRINTING’ OF THOSE ENGINES, ASSERTEDLY, GAVE THEM POWER IN EXCESS OF WHAT WOULD BE FOUND IN THE COMMONLY INSTALLED PRODUCTION ENGINES.

    I’VE NO PROF. PUBLISHING BACKGROUND BUT DO HAVE A PH.D IN THE LANGUAGE ARTS AREA AND WOULD BE HAPPY TO ASSIST IF PROOFING AND EDITING MIGHT BE OF VALUE?

    I SEE THE ALLISON GURU JOE YANCEY OFTEN AND WE FREQUENTLY RECALL YOUR WONDERFUL ‘PROJECT TOMAHAWK’ ATTAINMENTS.

    REGARDS.
    .
    LEE BRANCH
    FLABOB AIRPORT

  3. Kent Stephen Lentz

    Hey Lee, Good to hear from you. Please forgive my porous old memory, I met so many folks during that time that I can’t remember you. No I’m not in the L.A. area now, I headed for the hills shortly after -297 flew in ’07 and am in Mariposa CA ’bout 40 mi. from Yosemite. I’m not sure if Jim found that AVG engine in Oakland or Sacramento, but it was determined that V-1710-33 #899 was out of John Petachs #47. The way I heard the story of the 100 engines was that they were built up out of parts that were all slightly out of spec. and were put together by Allisons top mech’s and did indeed produce more power than the regular production engines. Lots of mixing & matching involved. I’m not exactly sure how I could use your kind offer to help w. the book, but I’m not just blowing it off. Since the announcment of -297s return to the U.S. there’s been a lot more interest in getting the damn thing done! 🙂 Thanks for the acknowledgement. If you’d like to stay in touch via Email, I’m at email hidden; JavaScript is required. By the way, from what I heard from several of the AVG pilots was that those Allisons always had plenty of power and were VERY reliable. Cheers, Kent

  4. Berge Jermakian

    When I was in Nottingham last year I had the privilege of visiting the hanger where Steven Grey kept his aircraft. I saw his P-40 being worked on and took one photo of it. I snapped two photos. Had known the history and such, I’d have taken a few more photos. If you want the photos, let me know how I can email them to you… no money wanted.

  5. Kent Stephen Lentz

    Hi Berge, Thanks for your response. Love to get the pix but I’m the wrong guy to ask how to email them. I’m still early in the learning curve on computers and am not yet set-up to the sending of photos. If you can figure out how, my email address is above in comment #3. Cheers, K— Oops, just noticed below that email addresses aren’t made public. Hmmmm?

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