Hobby Master HA7904 USAAC Boeing 218 (P-12 Prototype) Pursuit Aircraft - X66W, Lt. Robert Short, American Hero for China, February 1932 (1:48 Scale)
"The name of Robert Short will live long in the scroll of honor of great men, and his meritorious service will ever be in the memory of all Chinese."
- Chiang Kwang-nai (Nominal Commander-in Chief of the Chinese 19th Army), in a letter to Mrs. Short, mother of Lt. Robert Short
The Boeing P-12 or F4B was an American pursuit aircraft that was operated by the United States Army Air Corps and United States Navy.
Boeing developed the aircraft as a private venture to replace the Boeing F3B and Boeing F2B with the United States Navy, the first flight of the P-12 took place on June 25, 1928. The new aircraft was smaller, lighter and more agile than the ones it replaced but still used the Wasp engine of the F3B. This resulted in a higher top speed and overall better performance. As result of Navy evaluation 27 were ordered as the F4B-1, later evaluation by the United States Army Air Corps resulted in orders with the designation P-12. Boeing supplied the USAAC with 366 P-12's between 1929 and 1932. Production of all variants totalled 586.
P-12s were flown by the 17th Pursuit Group (34th, 73rd, and 95th Pursuit Squadrons) at March Field, California, and the 20th Pursuit Group (55th, 77th and 79th Pursuit Squadrons) at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. Older P-12s were used by groups overseas: the 4th Composite Group (3rd Pursuit Squadron) in the Philippines, the 16th Pursuit Group (24th, 29th , 74th, and 79th Pursuit Squadrons) in the Canal Zone, and the 18th Pursuit Group (6th and 19th Pursuit Squadrons) in Hawaii.
The P-12 remained in service with first-line pursuit groups until replaced by Boeing P-26s in 1934-35. Survivors were relegated to training duties until 1941, when most were grounded and assigned to mechanics's schools.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a Boeing 218 (P-12 Prototype) Pursuit Aircraft that was flown by Lt. Robert Short, American Hero for China, during February 1932.
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Release Date: January 2012
Mrs. Elizabeth Short
809 South 39 St.
Dear Mrs. Short:
With the greatest respect and deepest regret we beg to inform you that, when on February 23 at about 3 PM, six piratic airplanes from the invading Japanese Navy were circling over Soochow, dropping bombs on an entirely unarmed and innocent civilian population,
destroying lives and property alike in a wanton fashion unheard of before, your heroic son, Robert Short, flying a Boeing plane, engaged in a fight with the above planes, and after a 10 minute machine gun fire, he was shot and nose-dived to death.
It is true that Robert Short failed to bring down any of the invading planes, but he did kill the Japanese flyer who headed the raid, thereby preventing the Japanese attackers from carrying out their bombing raid to the extent that they originally intended.
The best words of condolence are insufficient to express to you our sorrow and sympathy in this bereavement of yours. But we can at least assure you this: No parents could have a more heroic son than Robert who gave up his own life that others might live. He dared Might
and died to defend Right for humanity and civilization. To say that he was fighting for China alone would be belittling his gallant and humanitarian deed, because it is for humanity and justice that he died. The name of Robert Short will live long in the scroll of honor of
great men, and his meritorious service will ever be in the memory of all Chinese.
Chiang Kwang-nai (Nominal Commander-in Chief of the Chinese 19th Army)
Tsai Ting-kai (Commander of the 19th)
Tai Chi (Chinese Shanghai Chief of Police)