P-40N-35-CU 44-7619

Like so many other P-40s, this Hawk was not sent overseas and never saw combat. She was used Stateside as a
transition trainer, serving with the 407th FS, 372nd FG which was an RTU... a Replacement Training Unit. She
was involved in at least one accident during her time with the 407th, being hit by another ship on the ground
while parked. I've found no further information concerning 44-7619's wartime service.

After the war 44-7619, again, like so many of her sisters, was sent to RFC (Reconstruction Finance Company) but
avoided the scrappers torch and was purchased by the Chowchilla Union School District in California. She was used
for a few years as an instructional airframe in an aeronautics course run by Floyd Park, one of the teachers at
Chowchilla High School. In 1950, after the course had been discontinued, 44-7619 was purchased by Carroll Collier,
a former student who had succeeded Mr. Park as aeronautical instructor. For the next couple of years, the ship sat
at a car dealership before being purchased by George Mokski of Avia-Union in Montebello, CA. She was modified as a
racer, but apparently funds dried up and she was never raced or even flown, as far as I know. In 1959 Ed Maloney
bought her but she sat idle for a further fourteen years, displayed at Maloney's 'Air Museum'.

It is here that my information conflicts somewhat... but 44-7619 eventually came into the hands of Sue Parish, and
restoration to airworthy was begun in the early 1970s, with a first flight taking place in 1976. Sue Parish painted
the 'ole Hawk in what has to be one of the most unique and recognizable paint schemes of any warbird in history,
and she flew 44-7619 for almost twenty years before finally retiring the ship in the early 1990s.

I've observed varying reactions to this P-40's pink paintjob, many of which were less than approving.
Okay, yeah, it's a pink P-40. But you know what? It's a pink P-40 that was flown by a gal who did a good
turn for her country. Sue Parish was a WASP during WWII... we Americans owe her and her sister WASPs
just as much as we owe all of the fighting men from that war, save those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

She could have painted this ship three shades of pink with purple polka-dots and it would'a been alright with me.

Okay, maybe not the polka-dots...

Sue Parish was also a co-founder and president of the Kalamazoo Air Zoo
where this Hawk is currently displayed, hanging from the ceiling in the atrium.

More info about this airframe can be found on the following pages...


Sue Parish and Her Pink P-40 Warhawk

P-40N-35-CU 44-7619 in service with the 407th Fighter Squadron, 372nd Fighter Group.
The 372nd flew primarily from Esler and Pollock Fields, both in Louisiana.

Don Taylor (Source)

I'm not sure when this photo was taken, possibly during 44-7619's time with Chowchilla High School,
or perhaps after she went to Avia-Union. The wingtips have been removed, which was one of the racer mods.

Project 914 Archives

Here's a couple of photos from 1955 showing 44-7619 heavily modified as an air racer.

Project 914 Archives

Project 914 Archives

At Ed Maloney's 'Air Museum' in 1970... still in racer configuration.

Chris Kennedy photo - Larger Image
(see more of Chris' photos here...)

These next three photos were taken at the 1982 Niagara Falls Airshow by my Dad.
This was my first airshow and this P-40 was the first I ever laid eyes on, making it my sentimental favorite.

Norb 'Bruno' Donacik photo

Norb 'Bruno' Donacik photo

Norb 'Bruno' Donacik photo

Sue Parish with 44-7619 and her T-34, painted to resemble the Hawk.

John A. Lacko via the Kalamazoo Gazette - Larger Image

Here is 44-7619 as she appears today at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

S.Bieri photo

S.Bieri photo

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