P-40 Tomahawk - Flying TigersItem Number: 1477
Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk Flying Tigers airplane model. The P-40 gained its greatest fame as the plane of the famed Flying Tigers. In the late 1930's Japanese forces were inflicting heavy losses on the Chinese. President Roosevelt promised the Chinese president that the United States would help, even though the US was not at war. The United States provided obsolete P-40B airplanes, but China didn't have the pilots to fly them. The U.S. Army, Navy and Marines asked for volunteers. They were released from duty and joined the "Chinese Air Force." They began training at Rangoon in Sep. 1941. Two of the three squadrons moved to Kunming, China to protect the Burma Road, the only ground route into China, and on Dec. 20, 1941, the Flying Tigers received their "baptism under fire" when they inflicted heavy losses on Japanese bombers attempting to attack Kunming. Months of combat followed and the A.V.G., greatly outnumbered in the air and operating under adverse conditions (such as no replacement pilots and practically no spare parts for repairing aircraft), scored a very impressive record against the enemy, 286 Japanese planes shot down at a cost of 12 A.V.G. pilots killed or missing in action. In May 1942, pilots of the 23rd Fighter Group, selected to replace the Flying Tigers, began to arrive in China and the A.V.G. was dissolved on July 4, 1942, when the 23rd Group was officially activated.
Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/24. Wingspan 18 1/2 inches, Length 16 inches.