Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk

Red Gill Moss, N. Stainmore, Cumbria













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: Armourers at work on an RAAF Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk.


An RAAF P-40 Tomahawk


Photo: 1941 Australian Copyright Council (expired)


(Published to Wikipedia 2012)



BELOW: A Curtiss P-40 with camera installed.


a Curtiss p-40 with camera installed


Photo: U. S. Air Force.


(Fact Sheet here)






Aircraft Type and Background


AACU* Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk Mk.I  /  AH744


* Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit



Aircraft Type Nickname: "Gypsy Rose Lee" and others.


The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk / Kittyhawk / Tomahawk was first flown in 1938 and continued in use with most of the Allied powers throughout the duration of WWII.


The P-40 was a single seat attack fighter-bomber, powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin, Pratt and Whitney, or Allison engine.


The US name for all variants of the Curtiss P-40 was the 'Warhawk'. British Commonwealth and Soviet forces used the name 'Tomahawk' for P-40B and P-40C equivalent variants, and 'Kittyhawk' for P-40D and later variants.


The Tomahawk Mk.IIa had improved armour protection and self-sealing fuel tanks. However, the added weight of this variant led to a significant loss of performance.


To overcome this problem, Curtiss fitted their P-40's with more powerful 1360hp Allison engines. The RAF renamed this variant the 'Kittyhawk'.


The aircraft had a maximum speed of about 370mph. It carried both wing-mounted machine guns and bombs.



BELOW: A side view of the Fighter Collection's Curtiss P-40F Warhawk / Kittyhawk II G-CGZP undergoing maintenance at Duxford, 22 August 2012.


The nose cowling opened to reveal a Rolls-Royce Merlin 500 engine.


rolls-royce merlin engine fitted to p-40 tomahawk


Photo: 2012 TSRL


Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.






Aircraft Accident Details                      


This Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk was attached to the Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit. It had been instructed to take off from RAF Catterick in North Yorkshire for a low-flying exercise. However, when the aircraft failed to return at the end of the exercise, a search was commenced using a Miles Master aircraft. Due to mist on the hills, however, the search aircraft was forced to return to base.


Later, the search was resumed on several more occasions, but without finding the missing P-40 Tomahawk.


It was then reported by the Royal Observer Corps to have been seen passing over Barnard Castle [regional map].


Another attempt was made to locate the P-40 Tomahawk, but again the pilot of the search aircraft was hindered by low cloud over the hills.


The next day, when the search was resumed again, the pilot of the Miles Master observed wreckage in the vicinity of Red Gill Moss, near North Stainmore in Cumbria.


When the search aircraft returned to RAF Catterick, a recovery team set out by road to confirm and identify the remains.






Aircraft Pilot Casualty


The pilot who died in this accident was:

(Please click on the hyperlinked name above for more details at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's website.)



See also Allestree War Memorial. The pilot's name is inscribed on this memorial.






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: Resting on the way to Red Gill Moss.


resting on the way to red gill moss


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Part of the P-40 Tomahawk wreckage found at Red Gill Moss.


a piece of the Tomahawk wreckage found at red gill moss


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some smaller sections of wreckage found on the moor.


smaller sections of wreckage on the moor


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another piece of the fragmented Tomahawk.


another piece of the fragmented Tomahawk


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



More photos below








BELOW: As here, most of the remaining wreckage is too highly fragmented to identify individual sections or parts.


as here most of the wreckage is too highly fragmented to identify parts


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A few more sections of wreckage on Red Gill Moss.


a few more sections of wreckage at Red Gill Moss


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: One more crash site covered. Time to relax!


Expedition completed. Time to relax.


Photo: 2013 Gary Nelson



















Crash Date / Site


Country: England


national flag of england



Accident Date: 10 Feb 1943


Accident Site:

Red Gill Moss


Region: Cumbria


Nearest towns or villages:

North Stainmore (W).


Nearest large towns: Barnard Castle (E), Kirkby Stephen (S), or Appleby-in-Westmoreland (W). [map]


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref. N/A


Present Condition: Some scattered wreckage remains at the site.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: AH744


Operator:  Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit.


Operating Station: RAF Catterick (1472 Flt).

(See also Marne Barracks)


Station Location: Catterick, North Yorkshire.


Station Status: Disused.




Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields




Related Links


Accident Specific Link

Wreckage photos at Flickr


RAF and Related Links

RAF Catterick / Marne Barracks

RAF CatterickForces Reunited.

The Wartime Memorial Project RAF Catterick


Other Link

Tomahawk AH744 at Yorkshire




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