A couple of Saturday’s ago, I was invited to the roll-out party at Warbird Adventures, to see Thom Richards TP-40N “American Dream.” Food, drinks and airplanes are a great way to spend the evening.
This aircraft is a WW2 veteran, as Thom told everyone, prior to a engine run-up. Having been assigned to 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter Squadron in Papua New Guinea, it flew missions against the Japanese, according to the website “Pacific Wrecks.” The aircraft was shot down during a fighter intercept mission with 1LT Joel Thorvaldson as the pilot. Thom covered how the pilot landed and was dropped a life raft so he could escape down river. Eventually, he was picked up by Australian forces and returned to his unit.
The aircraft was assigned two confirmed kills and one unconfirmed kill. More details of the mission can be found here at the “Pacific Wrecks” site.
The aircraft was found in 2005, at least parts of it to include the tail section, the engine and some of the wings. Recovery was done by Rob Greinert. It was then sold to Mike Spaulding, to be part of a build of a P-40N restoration.
In 2009, the aircraft suffered a landing accident. During the time to fix it, it was decided to convert the aircraft to a dual cockpit. After this work, the aircraft was sold and shipped to the United States with John Davis as the owner. Thom acquired the aircraft earlier this year and has been flying it around.
If you are interested in an introductory flight or need formal checkout training, contact them direct.