Register Free

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

P-40 MTO operations

Collapse
X
Collapse
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • PhantomII
    Phantoms Phorever

    P-40 MTO operations

    Anyone know any interesting stories about P-40 groups in the MTO during WWII? There is a book about P-40 aces in that theater that I might buy, and I also have a really good book on the P-40 with a few stories that I'll post if you like. Was hoping to talk about it. The MTO seems to be the forgotten theater of WWII, while in all actuality it was very important and some very fierce battles (both in the air and on the ground) were fought there. This was the theater in which Merline-powered Warhawks (P-40F & P-40L) were very prevalent.
    Fox-4!
  • PhantomII
    Phantoms Phorever

    #2
    RE: P-40 MTO operations

    Anyone?
    Fox-4!

    Comment

    • Moggy C
      Moderator

      #3
      RE: P-40 MTO operations

      Not quite what you are after perhaps, but after 'Piece of Cake' Derek Robinson wrote a book entitled 'A Good Clean Fight'. This features the remnants of Hornet Squadron flying P40s in the desert.

      Not nearly as good as PoC, but then without the other Moggy, how could it be. But worth reading nevertheless.

      Moggy.
      "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

      Comment

      • kev35
        Terminally Bewildered

        #4
        RE: P-40 MTO operations

        I agree with Moggy, another good book but it does lack the edge of Piece of Cake. Much of it is about the long range desert group. Perhaps the reason for less relevance being placed on the air war is that it is an area which has been the subject of only limited research.

        An interesting addition to PII's collection would be one of Neville Duke's, the title of which I can't remember but it focusses on the Desert Air Force with 112 Squadron and operations in Italy.

        Regards,

        kev35
        The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

        Comment

        • PhantomII
          Phantoms Phorever

          #5
          RE: P-40 MTO operations

          Thanks guys, I'll look into that stuff. I take it no one wants to discuss this then?
          Fox-4!

          Comment

          • kev35
            Terminally Bewildered

            #6
            RE: P-40 MTO operations

            PII

            Feel free to post away. It's an area I know little of and am always willing to learn.

            kev35
            The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

            Comment

            • Snoopy
              Aviation Bookworm

              #7
              RE: P-40 MTO operations

              >Thanks guys, I'll look into that stuff. I take it no one
              >wants to discuss this then?

              PhantomII, please don't assume nobody wants to hear about this subject, even if no-one else has anything much to contribute. It's likely that, as with other little-known theatres (my pet one being the RIAF in Burma!), most people simply don't know much about your subject; but I think most of us would be willing to listen.

              What about those stories out of your book which you promised, in your first post on this thread?

              I have a couple of stories about Indians who flew Kittyhawks in North Africa. Nothing spectacular; just stories about what a few of the millions of people behind the scenes went through during WW2 ... any interest in those?

              Regards,

              Snoopy

              Comment

              • Moggy C
                Moderator

                #8
                RE: P-40 MTO operations

                "PhantomII, ..... I think most of us would be willing to listen."

                "I have a couple of stories about Indians who flew Kittyhawks in North Africa.... any interest in those?"



                Yes to both of these from me.

                Moggy
                "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

                Comment

                • neilly
                  Rank 5 Registered User

                  #9
                  RE: P-40 MTO operations

                  [updated:LAST EDITED ON 28-03-02 AT 10:48 AM (GMT)]In last months Scale Modeller there was a whole pile of stuff about the P-40. Lots of piccies & scale drawings etc. There's also an association for the P-40. I've left the mag. at work, so I'll post the address, later.
                  Here's a question for you all; Which air force was the first to use the Sharks Teeth on the nose of the P-40?

                  Neilly

                  Comment

                  • kev35
                    Terminally Bewildered

                    #10
                    RE: P-40 MTO operations

                    Could it be China and Clare Chennaults Flying Tigers?

                    Regards

                    kev
                    The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

                    Comment

                    • PhantomII
                      Phantoms Phorever

                      #11
                      RE: P-40 MTO operations

                      Actually, the first operator to employ the Shark's Mouth was not the Flying Tigers as is widely believed. It was the Royal Air Force and I believe 112 Squadron. I can't remember the exact squadron number. Anyway, 112 Squadron operated P-40's in the North African (MTO) theater. In the very early days after the formation of the Flying Tigers, the aircraft hadn't been painted with Shark Mouths. One of the Flying Tiger pilots saw a shark mouth painted on an RAF P-40 in the African desert (presumably 112 Squadron), on the cover of some magazine. He brought up the idea of Shark Mouths for their aircraft, probably because it just seemed like a neat idea. One reason, is widey believe, is that they did it because the Japanese are afraid of sharks.

                      As for the stories I have, I believe they center around the 325 FG (Fighter Group) was flew missions in North Africa and on up into southern Europe. I'm at school now and the book isn't with me, but later on, I'll have the stories up. I remember that in two different combat air patrols, the 325th's P-40's (P-40F's and later P-40L's) were ambushed with two to one odds, and they ended up destroying a large portion of enemy fighters while only losing one or two. Keep in mind that avg numbers for these two particular missions was about 40 Germans against 20-25 P-40's. Generall speaking about half of the German force was shot down while only one or two P-40's in each instance were downed. That is pretty impressive. Also keep in mind that this was against the Bf-109, and aircraft that I consider the P-40 to be capable of tackling.

                      That brings up my next point. The P-40 was one of the greatest fighters of the war, yet many times it never gets the credit it deserves. I suppose the same would apply to the Hurricane and to a lesser extent, the Wildcat. I've seen everything to indicate that a pilot in a well flown P-40 was a formidable opponent. The only true bad point of the aircraft was its somewhat sluggish high-altitude performance. This was somewhat remedied in later variants, though the P-40 was never ideal up high. One aircraft that I think the P-40 could dominate was the Zero, no matter which version. Take a P-40N and A6M5 for example. The Warhawk is much more durable, it is much faster, dives much quicker, and is better armed.
                      Fox-4!

                      Comment

                      • Snoopy
                        Aviation Bookworm

                        #12
                        Kittyhawks in North Africa

                        [updated:LAST EDITED ON 28-03-02 AT 07:45 PM (GMT)]>
                        >"I have a couple of stories about Indians who flew
                        >Kittyhawks in North Africa.... any interest in those?"
                        >
                        >
                        >Yes to both of these from me.
                        >

                        OK, here's a few -- hope you like them:

                        The quotation below comes from published interviews with Squadron-Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji, DFC, one of (I think) the first batch of Indian pilots to serve in the European theatre during WW2. He arrived in the UK in late 1940; spent most of 1941 flying Hurricanes with 43 Squadron, RAF, on fighter sweeps over Occupied France; and then spent 1942 flying Kittyhawks in North Africa. He went back to India for the rest of the war, spending 1943 and part of 1944 on the North-West Frontier and eventually commanding No 4 Squadron, RIAF, in Burma.

                        He's still alive, bless him; and occasionally pops up in pictures on the UK MoD website.

                        North Africa was a much more primitive theatre than Europe, and Pujji found the food a particular turn-off; particularly as he wouldn't, for religious reasons, eat bully beef. But there was plenty of flying, and that kept him happy; though a lot of it was the down-and-dirty business of close air support. Around the time of the fall of Tobruk he was shot down. In his own words:

                        "I was in a Kittyhawk and my instrument panel suddenly shattered. Later I found that a bullet had gone through my overalls - the same one that had shattered the panel. I preserved that as a souvenir for many years.

                        "Then suddenly the aeroplane started disintegrating. I immediately throttled back and landed in the middle of the desert, right in the sand. Every aeroplane had water and these sort of things, so I sat on top of the aircraft, waiting. I knew to the north was the Mediterranean Sea - I couldn't walk that far. South, east and west there was nothing. There was no choice for me

                        "I was there for about nine-ten hours, when I saw a dust column. As it happened, it was our soldiers retreating. I was picked up."

                        As I say, nothing spectacular just a one among multitudes of stories, covering those long periods of utter boredom, interspersed with short moments of stark terror, which make up the millions of individual experiences and memories of WW2.

                        For a rather more spectacular story, some of you might remember the one posted here by Jagan, some months ago, about how a batch of Indian pilots (on the Allied side, I hasten to add!) found themselves sharing a Christmas dinner with Erwin Rommel, no less. Makes a truly great story; so much so that I can't swear it isn't apocryphal

                        For a much more detailed account of Kittyhawk operations in North Africa, Moggy and Phantom II, you might want to check out this site, if you dont know it already:

                        http://www.accessweb.com/users/mconstab/edwards.htm

                        It tells the story of James "Stocky" Edwards, a Canadian ace who also flew Kittyhawks in North Africa. He later flew Spitfires in Italy and Europe, and succeeded "Johnnie" Johnson as WingCo Flying of 127 Wing towards the end of the war.

                        Warning -- it's long-ish. Ran to 39 pages when I printed it - but I found them all eminently worth reading. Includes an uncaptioned photograph of a bearded pilot in North Africa. Can anyone tell, is that "Imshi" Mason? (I've read somewhere that he was "the only bearded pilot in the RAF" - presumably, whoever bestowed that title on him overlooked the handful of Sikhs who flew for the RAF!) Or could it be a Sikh pilot, such as Pujji? The helmet does look to me as though there might be a turban underneath.

                        Im guessing the photo came from one of the other publications listed right at the end of this account as image sources. Can I make a special appeal, if anyone recognises that photograph, to please let me know? Many thanks in advance!

                        PII, look forward to the rest of your P-40 stories. Regards,

                        Snoopy


                        Comment

                        • neilly
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          #13
                          RE: Kittyhawks in North Africa

                          Well done Phantom, you're spot on. In the latest edition of Flying Scale Models (got the right mag., this time!), there's a correction to some facts which books & publications get wrong. I'll copy out some of it, as it's quite interesting (not much time now, work or Mrs. Neilly get in the way of playtime!!).

                          Cheers,
                          Neilly

                          Comment

                          • PhantomII
                            Phantoms Phorever

                            #14
                            RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                            Well, I'm having trouble finding those stories about the 325th. That book I have apparently doesn't have those exact stories. It has some others which I'll post later on, but I have to get the first two posted first. They aren't too long, they just have incredible outcomes that will make anyone place respect under the definition of P-40.
                            Fox-4!

                            Comment

                            • kev35
                              Terminally Bewildered

                              #15
                              RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                              I don't know the whole story but there was a superb painting (Nick Trudgian?)of P-40's attacking a lighthouse/flak tower somewhere on the North African coast. It really brought the whole scene to life.

                              Regards,

                              kev35
                              The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

                              Comment

                              • PhantomII
                                Phantoms Phorever

                                #16
                                RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                                Well, I found the stories. They aren't from the exact place I had originally seen them, but they are the same stories, so here they are, plus one extra one....the last one being famously called the Palm Sunday Massacre.

                                North Africa was the first place the Hawks and Eagles met, but it was not their last confrontation. On the Russian front Soviet P-40s faced the Luftwaffe's 109s and Focke Wulf 190s with considerable success. In Italy the 325 Fighter Group, known as the "Checker-Tailed Clan" because of the yellow and black checkerboards painted on their tails, scored two impressive victories over German 109s.

                                Story 1-

                                On 1 July 1943, 22 P-40s made a fighter sweep over southern Italy. Forty Bf-109s surprised the checker-tails, engaging them at moderate altitude where the P-40 performed best. After an intense dogfight the Germans lost half their force while only one P-40 failed to come back.

                                Story 2-

                                A similar event took place on the 30th of the same month in which 20 P-40s were bounced by thirty-five 109s. The Germans limped home after losing 21 of their own while the checker-tails came through with only one loss. The Germans lost 135 aircraft (ninety-six of which were 109s) to the pilots of the checkered-tail P-40s while shooting down only seventeen of the 325th.

                                Story 3-

                                Back in North Africa, the most successful engagement by Tomahawks was what has come to be known as the Palm Sunday Massacre. Just before sundown on Palm Sunday, 18 April 1943, P-40s on anti-transport patrol spotted over 60 Ju-52s escorted by 21 fighters off of Cape Bon, making their way to Sicily. Elements of the 57th and 324th as well as the British 92 Squadron intercepted. 11 Spitfires covered 46 P-40Fs as they pounced on the Axis formations, ripping them to shreds. The carnage ended with 59 Ju-52s and 16 fighters crashing into the sea or Tunisian soil for the loss of only 6 P-40s.

                                These stories are all from this article comparing the P-40 to the Zero. It is a very good read, and I hope that anyone who's got an interest in WWII aviation or the P-40 or just WWII in general will read it.

                                http://www.chuckhawks.com/p-40_vs_zero.htm
                                Fox-4!

                                Comment

                                • PhantomII
                                  Phantoms Phorever

                                  #17
                                  RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                                  No one is interested? I finally get the stories up and you guys abandon me.

                                  Fox-4!

                                  Comment

                                  • neilly
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    #18
                                    RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                                    Don't panic Phantom I read your post & I'm sure others have, too.

                                    Neilly

                                    Comment

                                    • PhantomII
                                      Phantoms Phorever

                                      #19
                                      RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                                      I know, I was just kidding. I'll be waiting for some responses though.
                                      Fox-4!

                                      Comment

                                      • neilly
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        #20
                                        RE: Warhawks in North Africa

                                        you mean I got the April Fool!
                                        :'( Doh!!!

                                        Neilly

                                        Comment

                                        Unconfigured Ad Widget

                                        Collapse

                                         

                                        Working...
                                        X