A Curtiss Mohawk in the River Kabul at Risalpur.


On the RAF Burma India Facebook Group, Stephen Feasey shared several photographs from his grand father’s collection. His grand father was Stanley Feasey (986193) RAFVR, who happened to serve with various Repair and Salvage Units in India. Among the photos was an interesting photo of an aircraft almost fully submerged in water. The aircraft didn’t look like a Spitfire or a Hurricane, but was certainly a single seater low wing fighter type.  Some close examination revealed that it was likely a Curtis Mohawk – the number 3 painted on the tail implied that it could be an example operated by No.151 Operational Training Unit at Risalpur.

When we built the database of Mohawk Losses in SEAC,  There was one distinct Mohawk loss that stood out – Mohawk LA160  was particularly noted as having crashed in Kabul River on 30th July 1942, while being flown by Sgt William B GOODE .  151 OTU notes that the aircraft was salvaged with the help of locals and in two pieces.

“SERGEANT GOODE, a pupil in A flight had a lucky escape. Doing authorized low flying practice, he flew straight into KABUL RIVER. He was pulled clear of the submerged airframe by local fishermen and ferried to the bank. Their prompt rescue efforts undoubtedly saved the Sergeant’s life. He was taken to NOWSHERA hospital with a fractured ankle and head injuries. The engine was discovered in the river bed some thirty feet ahead of the airframe. Both were successfully salvaged by the Maintenance Section.”

Probably the Propeller/Engine being salvaged.

The  Photographs certainly reflect the situation of LA160.. The last image shows the fuselage submerged in the water again being salvaged.

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