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?


Hand Tinted Beauty w/ Sweetheart Jewelry

Hand tinted photos normally are poorly done with little attention to detail.  This hand tinted portrait photo was masterfully created with crisp detail to the pins and bracelets.  The small pin on the girls lapel is known as a son-in-service pin and was normally worn by family members who had relatives, specifically brothers and sons, who were serving in the armed forces.  She is also wearing a son-in-service bracelet, and a “stretchy” heart bracelet, possibly from a boyfriend?  Who knows?  A real gem!

Close up view of pin



Example from author’s collection