Member Monday: Ron Pritchard

This week’s Member Monday features an excerpt from Ron Pritchard’s work in progress, The Phantom P-40. Ron shared this piece at the June Read Around.

Ron Pritchard Cropped

Ron Pritchard

The Phantom P-40

April 22, 1941, 11:00 a.m.

Over the skies of Northern California


Two P-40 Tomahawk fighters have collided midair during a training exercise. Out of control, one of the aircraft drops from the sky at 18,000 feet. The pilot trying desperately to get back control of his aircraft as it is spiraling out of control toward the canyon fay below.

The author, Ron, from a young adventurous boy, now an older gentleman is obsessed in the story that he’s been told about a missing P-40 aircraft that crashed up in the mountains near where he now lives. His driven obsession searching for this Phantom P-40 has taken him on an adventure of his life. He had no idea at the time if this story was true or just an old tale. With endless time spent researching and travelling to different airport locations that once upon a time had been used by the Army Air Force for training looking for any clues that he may find about a P-40 crashing in the area he was looking at. Now with countless hours, days, and months behind him searching, he’s finally able to locate someone who says he knows where the P-40 crash site is. So maybe this story is true after all! When he meets up with the gentleman who told him about the crash site he shows Ron photos that he had taken of the crashed aircraft.

Now a new search has just begun. What kind of airplane was really in the photos? Why had been the pilot? Did he survive? If so did he fight in the World War II? More unanswered questions and many more hours, days, and months lay ahead before he’s able answer all of those unanswered questions. The aircraft was a P-40 Tomahawk, the pilot a young 24 Year Old Lieutenant James K. Dowling. He survived the crash and went on to fight in Alaska, North Africa, and Europe during the D-Day invasion.

The description to this true story fits perfect. Taking this action filled war story adventure around the world on the wings of a fighter pilot.


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