The Super Elite P-40B Warhawk was one of the planes used by an American Volunteer Group known as the “Flying Tigers”. The group consisted of United States Army Forces, United States Navy and Unites States Marine Corps. Under a secret presidential sanction, the pilots of the said group were recruited by Claire Chennault. They formed a fighter group with three squadrons that were trained in China. The said group defended Burma supply line to China. This happened before the American entered World War II to fight against Japan.
The P-40B Warhawk was managed and obtain by Chennault as it was in production for British and Americans. The major difference between the P-40B Warhawk and Tomahawk –IIB is the P-40B had an exterior fuel tank membrane while the Tomahawk had an interior membrane which is more effective for fuel tanks leaks. The P-40B was purchased without gun sights, radios and wing guns. As a result, there was a continual difficulty for the AVG in Burma and China. On the other hand, the good qualities of the Warhawk included the pilot armor, self sealing fuel tanks, sturdy construction, heavy armament and a diving speed that’s faster than most Japanese planes.
In the year 1941, one hundred P40B aircrafts were sent to Burma on third country freighters packed in crates. At Ragoon, the Warhawk was assembled and test flown by a personnel of the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company before they delivered it to the AVG training unit. The P-40B was the first fighter flown in action against the Japanese forces in Burma on March 13, 1941 before the US entered World War II. The Warhawk also played a vital role in the middle stages of World War II.
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