Getting to th enitty gritty Here's the scoop, full story will be in the ADF-Serials Telegraph News Letter in Spring 2012
We had a earlier question on the message board during June 2012 regarding what was Lend Lease, what was paid or manufactured in Australia etc, and I promised that I would explain, by example, the first P-40E/E-1 Kittyhawks contracts and loans. At our darkest hour in March 1942, we obtained approximately 75 P-40E/E-1s from USAFIA (US Army Forces in Australia)Stocks held at Amberley, Mascot ,Archerfield and what was landed at Fremantle to equip three operational Squadrons.(75/76/77 F Sqns RAAF)
It was agreed locally with the USAFIA that we would payback these totals from our future BSC 322 Diversion Contract P-40E-1 Aircraft from RAF Defence Aid #3 (DA3) during the March 42 conversations.
Britain had agreed to transfer these at no cost as part of their agreed diversion of 125 Aircraft in February 1942. The balance of that agreement was initially for the US of A to provide a balance of 125 (later 126)also, however this was modified to a loan of 75 only in March 42 as circumstances (loss of Java etc) negated the original promise of matching the RAF’s allocation.
The first reconciliation of the RAAF P-40E supplies happened on the 12th
May 1942, where records show that a total of 80 were on loan to the RAAF from the USAAF and that shipments on account of the RAAF had arrived, was numbered 62. By this time, some 31 P-40E/E-1s had been written off, some 27 RAAF BSC-322 P-40E-1s had been transferred to the USAAF, leaving just 83 on hand in the RAAF and one was unaccounted for (A29-81 41-5508). (Both reconciliations totalled 142, though the actual number should have been 143 as Kittyhawk A29-73; 41-24817 lost on pre-delivery, was not included).
The surviving 83 P-40E/E-1s were: No75 Sqn (6), No76 Sqn (21), No77 Sqn (17) Pearce (2 for repairs), 5AD Wagga (7), 1AD Laverton (4), Geelong Assembly (17) and 2AD Richmond (9), and totalling 83 airframes.
Over the years the common theme has been that the RAF did not meet its requirements and the US supplied all 163 Kittyhawks to the RAAF, even though some of them were decidedly second hand.
What the USAFIA (5thAAF USAAF) eventually passed on loan to the RAAF from their own P-40E/E-1 aircraft stock in theatre became a researched total of 119 aircraft by August 1942.
Out of BSC322 DA3 125 P-40E-1s against our own RAF orders received, a total of 86 P-40E-1 aircraft were returned to the USAAF in re-payment. This left the RAAF in debt to the USAAF of 33 aircraft as of March 1943.
Eventually by July 1942 some 86 P-40E-1s of the DA3 order would be handed back to the USAAF in Australia for use by the 49th
Fighter Group and by also the 68th
Fighter Sqn in Fiji.
By the end of September 1942, in their summary, some 119 USAAF P-40E/E-1s were charged to the RAAF, with a further two aircraft crashing before delivery to the RAAF, along with 42 DA3 P-40E-1s, making 163 in total, exclusive of another 14 P-40E-1s sent that were sunk on consignment to the RAAF ex RAF in July 1942.
A further three P-40E-1s were administratively lost to and used by the USAAF, but the RAF was, in 1945, finally credited for the cost of those three.
In their USAFIA summary, there was 119 P-40E/E-1s plus the 33 not repaid, equalling 152 aircraft, plus another 10 Charters Towers Pool aircraft taken on strength post August 1942, free of charge. Missing are three P-40E-1s that the USAAF had taken over without paper work in May 1942; these being P-40E-1s 41-36090(ET736), 41-36171(ET817) and 41-36235 (ET881).
................. you'll have to wait till the issue is out for the balance. But the 143 includes 14 sunk on route July 42 also. This story doesn't end until we pay back the balance with ex RAAF P-40Ns per 1944