This collectable model P-40 Warhawk represents one of the most famous outfits in military history, the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers. With their iconic paint schemes a familiar icon of the war, the Flying Tigers fought for less than a year, but became legendary. Painted as the P-40 Warhawk flown by Flying Tiger Tex Hill in World War II, this 1/24-scale model P-40 Warhawk makes a great pilot gift or a present for any veteran, aviation enthusiast or history buff.
Design work on the P-40 began in 1937, but numerous experimental versions were tested and refined before service deliveries began in September 1940. P-40s first saw wartime service with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in August 1941.
Unable to outperform the top Japanese and German fighters of the day, the Warhawk’s tough build and good diving performance made it an effective warfighter.
In 1941, the American Volunteer Group – the Flying Tigers – began combat operations in China against Japanese forces. In little more than six months, the Tigers shot down 229 Japanese aircraft and destroyed scores more on the ground.
David lee “Tex” Hill joined the AVG in 1941, and had achieved 12 ½ victories by the time the AVG disbanded in 1942. One of only a handful of Flying Tigers to join its successor, the 23rd Fighter Group, Hill later became the group commander. By war’s end, Hill had shot down six more aircraft.
Hill died in 2007, but the Commemorative Air Force honors his service and memory by flying a P-40 Warhawk painted as his AVG aircraft.