P-40 Warhawk Forums

P-40 Warhawk Forums => P-40ís in WWII => Topic started by: xray4277 on September 05, 2019, 03:01:07 AM

Title: Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...
Post by: xray4277 on September 05, 2019, 03:01:07 AM
I've just finished reading 'Fire in the sky', a very detailed account of the air war in the South Pacific (Solomon Islands, New Guinea, etc.). Although it is written by an American it deals very fairly with the ANZAC contribution to the air war in that theatre and there is a great photo of an RAAF pilot looking in amazement at the shredded port wing of his P-40 - and he flew 200 miles back to base like that! A real testament to the toughness of the P-40 (as with most US-built aircraft of WW2) and a great reminder that it's always worth making your aircraft tough enough to protect your most valuable asset - PILOTS.

A new P-40 could be built in a few days...a new pilot took a bit longer...

Title: Re: Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...
Post by: Mark Joyce on September 05, 2019, 10:46:05 AM
"Fire in the Sky" is a very good book.  The section regarding the attributes of the allied fighters is quite informative, especially in regards to the P-40.  There are a number of aces who spoke highly of the P-40 in the book, including Robert DeHaven, Sammy Pierce, and Joel Paris, which is one reason I chose to model the P-40s they flew. Even James Morehead, who I met many times over the years until his passing, moderated his initial, somewhat disdainful view of the P-40 (I also built a model of his P-40, which I gave to him).  Perhaps most intriguing is the book points out that the 'first generation' of fighters, especially the Warhawk and Wildcat, not only fought the Japanese to a draw but started putting them on the defensive.  Not bad, considering that Secretary of War Henry Stimson apparently referred to the P-40 as "junk," and a testament to not only the ruggedness of both the Warhawk and Wildcat, but the bravery and determination of their pilots, who were able to devise tactics that utilized the strength of both aircraft.

This reminds me that I really need to categorize all the books I have related to the P-40, so I can perhaps add something to this website in order to help anyone who is looking for specific information.

Title: Re: Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...
Post by: Vince_M on September 05, 2019, 10:44:49 PM
Really great photo of the damaged P-40 and that is one of the most memorable of all.  The damage to the wing is devastating but yet the main spar did not break!

Mark, I have read Morehead's book and it is a good one.  He did refer to the P-40 as a "dog".
There was a TV show on either Discovery or History channel and I think I saw it in January, 2000.
In that show he describes one of his successful diving attacks with P-40s.  I wish I could find that show and record it...
Is there any way to get old TV schedules and maybe I could find it?

Title: Re: Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...
Post by: xray4277 on September 09, 2019, 04:36:05 AM
At the risk of diverting the thread (or even the whole forum!) the Grumman Wildcat is another of my favourite WW2 aircraft - like the P-40, it was something of a 'Cinderella' type but it did a great job at a time before more famous and more highly rated aircraft were available. The Fleet Air Arm loved them, operating from short-deck escort carriers against long range Luftwaffe reconnaissance bombers, they had performance and firepower easily enough to take them on and win. Eric 'Winkle' Brown said it was a perfect carrier-based fighter and he ought to know!

The Airfix 1/72 scale kits (United States F4F-4 and British Martlet IV version) are superb kits which build up very nicely indeed.