Duckypoo last flight www.intotheblue.it plane F4 P-38F Lockheed
Duckypoo was a great F4, the oldest in the squadron and derived from a Lockheed P-38F. The essential change was to replace the Allison engines with 2 more powerfull V1710-89 / 91 1425Hp in discovery version..
In June 1944 David Toomey made an exceptional undertaking. He left Tarquinia and passed by Giglio Island between Elba and Piombino and then entered the enemy territory, the town of Cecina and the river of the same name. From here he headed to Volterra, Florence, where he photographed the left bank of the Arno river to Pisa and came back. The mission was awesome and the command commissioned him for another mission: he had to photograph the right bank of Arno and then goes to Lucca. Just as for the first mission, Toomey repeated the journey, always flying at low altitudes, but nearly to Cecina he noticed that something had changed in the landscape; horizons of trees or poles that were not there before. In fact it was a German artillery that occupied the area to protect the retreat to the north. Suddenly he was immersed in a cloud of bullets and struck before one engine to another. Wounded, but still operational, he untied the carling dome and tried, without difficulty, to splash down.
After some jump, Duckypoo leaned over the water and Toomey quickly pulled out of the dribbling, thus succeeding in inflating the lifejacket. As the plane dropped off the pilot began the company, swim to the shore. Joining the shore, not to be captured by the Germans, hiding the equipment by submerging it and began with extreme caution the pursuit of a friend outpost. Fortunately he met Guardistallo’s partisans who for four days hid him to the enemy.
On 1 July a group of allied Sherman wagons occupied the area and Toomey could return to the battalion, continuing with his other planes missions.
The Finding of Wreck
Two Americans, Bill and David Toomey, arrived in Italy in July 2000 to Cecina they met with Dino Belluomini and his daughter Sara of the Diving Center. They wanted to find the ship wrecked; but Dino, a profound acquaintance of Cecina and his dry waters, replied that it was impossible, “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack!” and thus renouncing the roll of dollars offered to him. The two Americans sought another boarding that took them by sea, but as expected they did not find the Wreck of the P-38.
In December 2009, a journalist from the journal “Flying” wrote a story about Toomey and his P-38 story. He knew who they were Dino and Sara and their ancestors and wanted the Duckypoo to find it again; the request came directly from Toomey, nowadays.
Dino, Sara and Fabio began their research by immersing themselves in free times, sprawling miles of sea bottom in areas taken into account even with careful mapping studies and some “straight” dates from fishermen in the area. Finally one day in unclear waters the hand touched something that came out of the sand. The most accurate results showed that it was the top of the helm, then emerged from the sand that did not leave any doubt: the left wing with the engine and the propeller in its place, the carling, etc.
Photos and videos were sent to David Toomey in the United States for final identification. There was no time for congratulations and thanksgiving, saying, “This is my Duckypoo, I want to bring him home …“
Unfortunately, this great man died shortly after the age of 90.
Text and historical research
edited by Sara Belluomini