Oxford AC024 RAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Mk. Ia Fighter - Squadron Leader Mike Judd, No. 250 Squadron, North Africa, 1942 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production. The inadequacies of the P-40 were even the subject of a Congressional investigation after the War ended.
While these criticisms were certainly valid, it is also true that the P-40 served its country well, especially in China and Burma, during the opening phase of the War in the Pacific when little else was available to the US Army Air Corps. Along with the P-39 Airacobra, the P-40 was the only American fighter available in quantity to confront the Japanese advance until more modern aircraft could be delivered to frontline squadrons.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Ml. Ia fighter that was piloted by Squadron Leader Mike Judd, who was attached to No. 250 Squadron, then deployed to North Africa during 1942. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 6.1 inches
Length: 5.5 inches
Release Date: September 2012
Historical Account: "Desert Raiders" - No.250 Squadron spent the entire Second World War operating in or around the Mediterranean, taking part in the battles in the Western Desert and the invasions of Sicily and Italy.
The squadron was reformed from K Flight at Aqir on April 1st, 1941, and by the end of the month had received enough Tomahawk fighters to become operational. At first the squadron was used to fly defensive patrols over Palestine, but in May 1941 a detachment began to fly offensive sweeps over Syria, and in June the squadron moved to North Africa to take part in the fighting in the Western Desert.
In February 1942, the squadron was withdrawn for defensive duties, before it converted to the Kittyhawk fighter bomber. It returned to the desert in April, just in time to take part in the disastrous battle of Gazala, which saw the British pushed back to El Alamein. After this the squadron took part in the defensive battles on that line, and then the series of Allied victories, beginning at El Alamein, that eventually saw the Germans and Italians cleared out of North Africa.
In July 1943, the squadron moved to Malta to support the invasion of Sicily, and a few days later moved into the new beachhead. In mid-Sept the squadron moved to Italy, and flew fighter-bomber missions to the end of the war, supporting the advancing armies. The squadron was disbanded in August 1945.