Question about P-40 in WWII…

WriterGirl

Recruit
7
9
Apr 20, 2021
I am researching an airman who was KIA in 1943 while piloting his P-40 from Pinellas AAF in St. Petersburg during advanced combat training. He was towing a target when his engine failed and his aircraft went down over the water.

So here's my question—what does "towing a target" mean in this context? Also, any insight or guesses about why there was engine failure in this situation?

Thanks so much. I just want to make sure I understand what's happening while I'm researching.
 

FLYBOYJ

"THE GREAT GAZOO"
Staff
Mod
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Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
I am researching an airman who was KIA in 1943 while piloting his P-40 from Pinellas AAF in St. Petersburg during advanced combat training. He was towing a target when his engine failed and his aircraft went down over the water.

So here's my question—what does "towing a target" mean in this context? Also, any insight or guesses about why there was engine failure in this situation?

Thanks so much. I just want to make sure I understand what's happening while I'm researching.
Target towing is/was just that. An aircraft towed a streamer or banner while pilots practicing gunnery practice shot at it.

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The engine failure could have happened for a number of reasons. I'm sure someone here might be able to find an accident report
 

Greg Boeser

Master Sergeant
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4,815
Jul 29, 2016
Minnesota
I am researching an airman who was KIA in 1943 while piloting his P-40 from Pinellas AAF in St. Petersburg during advanced combat training. He was towing a target when his engine failed and his aircraft went down over the water.

So here's my question—what does "towing a target" mean in this context? Also, any insight or guesses about why there was engine failure in this situation?

Thanks so much. I just want to make sure I understand what's happening while I'm researching.
If you have his name, try the database at aviationarcheology.com.
I pulled up 14 fatal accidents in 1943.
If you know the pilot's name, you could pinpoint the accident and order the crash report.
 

Buz101

Airman
24
45
Sep 15, 2010
Writergirl

Sorry about the late reply, if you haven't already ordered the report, it can be obtain for free if you're willing to wait a few days, by ordering directly from the AFHRA. Let me know if you want to use this route and I can step you through it

Buz
 

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