Wreckchasing Message Board
Sign up  |   |   |  Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  

Posts: 183
I'm looking for any information on a 09 Jan 43 P-40 crash involving Lt Col Robert L. Coffey, Jr. (USAAF).  Coffey was piloting a P-40F, Serial # 41-13641, to Johnstown, PA, to serve as a pallbearer for his friend, Lt Col Boyd D. "Buzz" Wagner, the USAAF's first WWII ace, who died in a P-40K crash near Eglin Field on 29 Nov 42.  While en route from Pinellas, FL, to Pennsylvania, Coffey ran into bad weather and, as his fuel ran low, made a forced landing in a Moundsville, WV field, supposedly on or near the grounds of the West Virginia State Penitentiary.  The fighter nosed over in the marshy field, causing Coffey to slam his head against the gun sight.  Pictures of him carrying Wagner's coffin a few days later clearly show his heavily bandaged head, which caused his wheel cap to cock sharply off to one side. 

Coffey later commanded the 388th Fighter Squadron in the ETO and is prominently mentioned in Robert Dorr's book, Hell Hawks.  Coffey left active duty in 1946, joined the reserves, and in 1948 was elected to the US House of Representatives.  Just a few months later Colonel (Congressman) Robert Coffey perished when his P-80A crashed on takeoff from Kirtland AFB, NM.

I'm interested in any official accident reports, newspaper clippings, or pictures of this particular crash.  Any help would be much appreciated.

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 2,596
You can order the report from AAIR, you can also ask about the 1948 P-80A report if you want that too

here is the reference

430109  P-40F 41-13641 337FGPinellas, FL  LAC 3 Coffey, Robert L Jr USAWV Moundsville, WV 

Posts: 437
Here is a clip from the Altoona Tribune.  Most papers of the time just parroted the newswire story.


Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: P-40 9 Jan 43 Robert Coffey [Altoona tribune 11 Jan 43 pg2].jpg, Views: 10, Size: 64.30 KB 

Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.