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Submitted on
March 31, 2011
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33 (who?)
P-40B 349 Sqn RAF 1 by WS-Clave P-40B 349 Sqn RAF 1 by WS-Clave
The Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk entered service with the US Army Air Corps in 1939 and was used extensively by the Allied air forces until being replaced by the P-40E and later versions.

The Tomahawk first saw combat with the Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force and later with the American Volunteer Group in China.

The P-40B was armed with 4 x 7.7mm machine guns and 2 x 12.7mm machine guns, the P-40C could also carry bombs or a drop tank below the fuselage.

This example is a P-40B (Tomahawk IIA) of 349 (Belgian) Squadron RAF circa 1943.
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Shortage of other, more capable aircraft? I thought the P-40 was pretty much obsolete when WWII broke loose...
It looks cool from this angle though.
I just checked up on this - 349 was/is a Belgian squadron, and they were in Nigeria in 1943, so I'm guessing it wasn't considered 'front-line' enough to bother with replacement... going to edit this now though, as Belgium needs to be credited in the text...
Alright! So they were sort of 'lent' by the RAF to the Belgian air force? Sounds interesting, gotta read up on that.
It was not quite like that...

Once the war had started, a fair number of pilots from occupied Europe, and other countries came to Britain to join the RAF, and pretty soon country-specific squadrons were set up and although they were actual RAF squadrons at the time, some of them later went to the countries of origin. The ones that are well-known are:

71 (Eagle) Squadron (USA) transferred to the USAAF in 1942 and became the 334th Fighter Squadron
121 (Eagle) Squadron (USA) transferred to the USAAF in 1942 and became the 335th Fighter Squadron
133 (Eagle) Squadron (USA) transferred to the USAAF in 1942 and became the 336th Fighter Squadron

300 (Polish) Squadron through to 309 (Polish) Squadron

310 (Czech) 311 (Czech) 312 (Czech) 313 (Czech) - formed part of the Czech Air Force after the war

315 (Polish) 316 (Polish) 317 (Polish) 318 (Polish)

320 (Dutch) 321 (Dutch) 322 (Dutch) - continued in the Netherlands after the war

326 (French) 327 (French) 328 (French) 329 (French) - a lot of the French squadrons passed to France in 1945

330 (Norwegian) 331 (Norwegian) 332 (Norwegian) 333 (Norwegian) 334 (Norwegian) continued in Norway after the war

335 (Greek) 336 (Greek) continued after the war

340 (French) 341 (French) 342 (French) 343 (French) 344 (French) 345 (French) 346 (French) 347 (French)

349 (Belgian) 350 (Belgian) - both continued after the war in Belgium with the same squadron numbers

351 (Yugoslav) 352 (Yugoslav) - formed into the 1st Fighter Regiment

Plus there were vast numbers of Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand squadrons under RAF command at the time...
Woah, I knew there were lots of foreign pilots in the RAF, but I didn't know it were that many...
During WWII the Belgian air force in exile was technically part of the RAF

"In February 1945 the Squadron returned to England to convert to the Hawker Tempest. This did not go well and the Squadron re-gained Spitfire IXs."
That little note really makes me wonder :rofl:

Thanks for the link!
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