The popular shark mouth, well suited to the contours of the P-40, was made famous by the 1941 American Volunteer Group (AVG), also known as the “Flying Tigers.” Flying out of China, Claire Chennault’s 215 pilots earned a record of 286 kills to four losses. After the United States entered the war, the AVG became part of the USAAF’s 23rd Fighter Group.
By 1941 almost 14,000 P-40s were delivered, making it the first mass produced US fighter, at a unit cost of $57,000.00. The P-40 was America’s fighter at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The P-40 was well liked by its pilots and ground crew, despite its altitude restrictions.
On April 18, 1943, 46 P-40s with 11 Spitfires caught 60 JU-52s and an escort of 21 fighters. The “Palm Sunday Massacre” that followed led to the downing of 59 of the transports and 16 escorts for the loss of only six P-40s.
|DISPLAY STATUS||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||CURRENT LOCATION|
|Own||United States||Legends Hangar|
|PURPOSE & TYPE||MATERIALS||ERA & DATE RANGE|
|Steel||World War II
1939 – 1945
First Produced: 1940
Number Built: 14,000; 1,500 E-1 Models
Armament: (6) .50 caliber machine guns; (1) 100 lb bombs under each wing; (1) 500 lb bomb under each fuselageAcquired by Yanks in 1975.
|Wingspan: 37 ft 4 in
Wing Area: 236 sq ft
Length: 31 ft 9 in
Height: 12 ft 4 in
Empty Weight: 6,209 lbs
Gross Weight: 7,696 lbs
Powerplant: Allison V1710-99
Cruise Speed: 296 mph
Maximum Speed: 296 mph
Range: 1,210 mi
|Delivered: October 22, 1941
December 3, 1941 RCAF on direct British Order Sqd #118
Stricken: August 23, 1946