WWII Photos – P-39 / P-63 Kingcobra Fighter Plane Escorted by Female WASP Pilots to Russia!


These two blurry but historically significant photos recently arrived from a friend in Pennsylvania.  I instantly recognized the USSR red star on the fuselage along with the bundled up WASP standing proudly beside the plane.  The fighter is a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, a variant of the P-39 Airacobra.  The serial number on the tail appears to be 42-704XX.  Although the last two numbers are obscured by the tilt of the rudder, a quick google search turned up a hit for one plane with the 42-704XX serial.  42-70468 was ferried from Nome, Alaska to the USSR by a female WASP pilot. I even found a hand colored shot of the same plane!  Enjoy.

UPDATE: I just found the POSSIBLE name of the WASP pilot in the photo.  I found an aircraft accident report for this plane on November 12th, 1944.  Gayle Ewing (Now Ewing-Reed) had a small accident in Niagra, NY.  Sadly, she rolled her ankle and wasn’t able to fly again during the war.  I even found an interview with her talking about THIS P-63 rolling over and breaking her ankle after she parked it in NY.  Maybe another WASP took over after she broke her ankle?

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.51305/video?ID=d21643e190

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