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HOME > TIGERS > MCGARRY'S TOMAHAWK

Mac McGarry, Down in Thailand

McGarry's Tomahawk as found

William "Mac" McGarry was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Chiang Mai, Thailand, on March 24, 1942. His Tomahawk crashed in the rain forest in northern Thailand, and McGarry spent the rest of the war in a Thai prison. A tip of the virtual hat to John MacGregor of Scotland, who photographed the wreckage at Chiang Mai Air Force Base in Thailand, and who also sent along clippings from a Thai aviation magazine called (yes!) Top Gun. Above is the wreck of McGarry's aircraft as it was discovered in the summer of 1991.

This was just before Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group was published, and the excitement of the find was what prompted me to write the novel Remains, which begins and ends with the wreckage of a Tomahawk in the rain forest.

Prop on display at Chiang Mai AFB

Above: the Tomahawk's Hamilton-Standard prop mounted on a sort of terrarium of local earth and plants. Behind at left may be part of the canopy, and to the right is a poster about the P-40. Below: a sign tells the story in Thai. The engine from this aircraft--CAF serial P-8115--is said to be in Torrence, Calif. Below: the story in Thai.

The story in Thai

Photos copyright by John MacGregor, Dundee, Scotland.