76 Squadron's P-40Ms

by Steve Mackenzie


SV-U A29-366 'Whacko, Ginny Simms'. RAAF Official photo OG1794

76 Sqn RAAF used the P-40M variant for a long period, during which some airframes were repaired after incidents and repainted several times. The first large batch were received from 2 AD on 13/5/1943 and they operated this type until they received P-40Ns in early 1945. This first article is about 4 different airframes that carried the code SV-U (all with nose art making them very interesting). Other parts will follow assuming that I get a chance to do the artwork which takes a long time.

The above photo has been known for a long time (being available on the AWM site), but the details of the artwork on the nose, the background and the serial have only recently (in April 2019) become available. P-40Ms were originally in the scheme of U.S equivalents colours (DuPont 71-009 Dark Earth, 71-013 Dark Green and 71-021 Sky Type S Grey) but most photos (including all the airframes depicted here) show them repainted in Foliage Green upper surfaces and RAAF Sky Blue lowers.

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sv-u a29-366 'whacko, ginny simms' 1.jpg
sv-u a29-366 'whacko, ginny simms' 1.jpg
sv-u a29-366 'whacko, ginny simms' 2.jpg
sv-u a29-366 'whacko, ginny simms' 2.jpg

By far the most interesting of the airframes is A29-366. The heading photo of the article has been known for decades, but only recently 2 new photos have surfaced on the ADF Serials Forum showing more details of the markings (above). The very young Sqn Ldr in the photos is Sqn Ldr Ian Sandford Loudon DFC (404691). He was CO 76 Sqn at Momote.

The four officers picture 2 are left to right;
Flt Lt Byrne
Flt Lt (later S/L) Leigh Bowes
S/L Ian Loudon
P.O Bill Cashmore

Because Leigh Bowes arrived at the squadron and took over from Ian Loudon this dates the Pic from about 19/4/44 through 30/4/44. The name "Whacko Ginny Simms" would have been a reference to a popular American singer and actress at the time called Virginia Ellen Simms also known as Ginny Simms.


SV-U A29-366 'Whacko, Ginny Simms'. Overall Foliage Green upper surfaces and RAAF Sky Blue lowers. Codes in RAAF Sky Blue and Black serials (2" only, just ahead of the rudder). Name 'Whacko, Ginny Simms' in White, as are the mission markings under the cockpit. Horizontal and Vertical tail surfaces are White BUT there is no White wing leading edges.

When Leigh Bowes joined the squadron he adopted A29-382 because "it was new and flew well". This aircraft featured the nose art of "Bozo the dog" riding a bomb and heading towards Tokio. It was also coded SV-U.
SV-U A29-382 'Bozo the Dog' S.Ldr Leigh Bowes aircraft from May 1944 a.jpg
SV-U A29-382 'Bozo the Dog' S.Ldr Leigh Bowes aircraft from May 1944 a.jpg
sv-u a29-382 'bozo the dog' s.ldr leigh bowes aircraft from may 1944 b.jpg
sv-u a29-382 'bozo the dog' s.ldr leigh bowes aircraft from may 1944 b.jpg


SV-U A29-382 'Bozo the Dog' S.Ldr Leigh Bowes. The colour scheme is exactly the same as A29-366 above, but no mission markings and obviously different nose art. Very nice scheme this one

This one is A29-368. The nose art is a topless lady riding a bomb with the name "Daisy Cutter written on the bomb itself, with the legend "Josephine Five" under the front windscreen.
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SV-U A29-368 taxying out, 76 Squadron, Kiriwina, c.1944. AHMWA P020545 via Mike Mirkovic.
SV-U A29-368 'Josephine Five-Daisy Cutter' with Flt. Lt. Ian Loudon in the cockpit, 76 Squadron, Kiriwina, c.1943. AHMWA P961226 via Mike Mirkovic.
SV-U A29-368 'Josephine Five-Daisy Cutter' with Flt.Lts. Selwyn Clark (L) and Ian Loudon, 76 Squadron, Kiriwina, late 1943. AHMWA P961227 via Mike Mirkovic.
SV-U A29-368 with Flt.Lt. Selwyn Clark, 76 Squadron, Kiriwina, c.1944. AHMWA P961224 via Mike Mirkovic.


SV-U A29-368 Flt.Lt. Selwyn Clark, 76 Squadron, Kiriwina, c.1944. The colour scheme is exactly the same as A29-366 above, but no mission markings and obviously different nose art. There is a Black 'U' on the front of the under carraige knuckle (the other airframes 'MAY' have this also but not shown in photos) and the serial is Light Gray. Name 'Josephine Five' below the cockpit appears to be White with Red shadows. Nose art appears to be a Redhead with dark shorts sitting on a Grey bomb with Black lettering.

This one is A29-368. The nose art is a topless lady riding a bomb with the name "Daisy Cutter written on the bomb itself, with the legend "Josephine Five" under the front windscreen.
SV-U A29-386 'Tropical Ulcer' .jpg
SV-U A29-386 'Tropical Ulcer' .jpg
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SV-U A29-386 'Tropical Ulcer'. AHMWA via Mike Mirkovic.
SV-U A29-386 'Tropical Ulcer' Momote, Los Negros, Admiralty Islands, 08-3-1944. Aircraft of 76 Sqn on stand by Photo RAAF OG0768.JPG
SV-U A29-386 'Tropical Ulcer' Momote, Los Negros, Admiralty Islands, 18-3-1944. Ground crews crowd into a jeep. Photo RAAF OG0826.

SV-U A29-386 76 Squadron, Momote, Mar 1944. The colour scheme is exactly the same as A29-366 above, but no mission markings and obviously different nose art. Name 'Tropical Ulcer' on the nose is White and there is a narrow Yellow band around the spinner.

Credits: thanks to Peter May (Ozhawk 40) and Mick Mirkovic who supplied many of the photos and info used for this article.

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