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Last Surviving Fighter from Pearl Harbor at American Heritage Museum

The last fully restored and flying fighter that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 has arrived at the American Heritage Museum and will be on display. This Curtiss P- 40B Warhawk was stationed that day at Wheeler Field on Oahu, Hawaii, but amazingly suffered no damage during the Japanese attack. On January 24, 1942, in another ironic twist of fate, with only nine months of service and 56 hours of flight time, while on a routine training flight the plane spun out of control. The pilot, Lt. Kenneth Wayne Sprankle, was unable to recover from the spin, crashing into the side of a mountain. The crash occurred in an inaccessible area of the island.
     In 1985 the Warhawk’s remains were “rediscovered.” After some preliminary investigation, it was determined the air frame was not severely damaged and, if it could be removed, was restorable. Some parts were recovered during 1985. A second recovery mission in 1989 salvaged the rest of the air frame. A long restoration ensued through several
organizations eventually moving to the Collings Foundation where it was meticulously restored back to its original flying configuration.
     The Pearl Harbor P-40B War- hawk is an extraordinarily rare relic that helps tell the story of the attack on Pearl
Harbor and its effects – the final step that would plunge the United States into a world war.
     With December 7th, 2020 marking the 79th year since the attack, we must remember those lives lost and the sacrifices that were made to ensure that freedom and liberty prevailed. For information on the P-40 Warhawk see: https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org /aircrafts/ curtiss-p-40b-tomahawk/
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